The Meadows

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Data Protection Policy


  1. About the School        4
  2. Introduction         4
  3. Aims        4
  4. Legislation and guidance        4
  5. Definitions        5
  6. The data controller        6
  7. Roles and responsibilities        6

7.1.        Governing body        6

7.2.        Data protection officer         6

7.3.        Head Teacher        7

7.4.        All staff        7

7.5.        Awareness and training         7

  1. Data protection principles        8
  2. Collecting personal data        8

9.1.        Lawfulness, fairness and transparency        8

9.2.        Limitation, minimisation and accuracy        9

  1. Sharing personal data        9
  2. Subject access requests and other rights of individuals        10

11.1.       Subject access requests        10

11.2.      Children and subject access requests        10

11.3.       Responding to subject access requests        11

11.4.        Other data protection rights of the individual        11

  1. Parental requests to see the educational record        12
  2. Biometric recognition systems        12
  3. CCTV        12
  4. Photographs, digital images and videos        13
  5. Data protection by design and default        13
  6. Data security and storage of records        14
  7. Disposal of records        14
  8. Personal data breaches        14
  9. Training        14
  10. Links with other policies         14

Appendix 1: Personal data breach procedure        15

Actions to minimise the impact of data breaches        19

Sensitive information being disclosed via email (including safeguarding records)        19

Details of pupil premium interventions for named children being published on the school website         19

Non-anonymised pupil exam results or staff pay information being shared with governors        20

A school laptop containing non-encrypted sensitive personal data being stolen or hacked        20

The school's Learning Applications and stand alone services        20

  1. About the School

The Meadows School is a mixed secondary special school that caters for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues. Many of our young people live across County      Durham and in some cases live beyond the borders into Darlington, Cleveland, Middlesbrough,   Cumbria and Northumberland.


The school's reputation is one that we are particularly proud of, providing a caring, safe and family orientated ethos.

We strive to create a sense of belonging where our pupils feel they are valued and respected, an   atmosphere where all can make progress and succeed and where we can provide opportunities and experiences that are additional and different, that raise aspirations and develop resilience.

  1. Introduction

The Meadows School needs to keep certain information about its employees, students and other users to allow it to monitor performance, achievements, and health and safety, for example. It is also necessary to process information so that staff can be recruited and paid, courses organised and legal obligations to funding bodies and government complied with.

To comply with the law, information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed to any other person unlawfully.

  1. Aims

Our school aims to ensure that all personal data collected about staff, pupils, parents, governors, visitors and other individuals is collected, stored and processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the expected provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) as set out in the Data Protection Bill.

This policy applies to all personal data, regardless of whether it is in paper or electronic format.

  1. Legislation and guidance

This policy meets the requirements of the GDPR and the expected provisions of the DPA 2018. It is based on guidance published by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on the GDPR and the ICO's code of practice for subject access requests.

Although the school does not currently use biometric data, this policy meets the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 when referring to our potential future use of biometric data.

It also reflects the ICO's code of practice for the use of surveillance cameras and personal information.

In addition, this policy complies with regulation 5 of the Education (Pupil Information) England Regulations 2005, which gives parents the right of access to their child's educational record.

5. Definitions

Data Controller – The person who (either alone or with others) decides what personal

information The Meadows School will hold and how it will be held or used.

Data Subject – The living individual whom The Meadows school will collect, hold and process their personal data on behalf of.

Data Protection Act 1998 – The UK legislation that provides a framework for responsible

behaviour by those using personal information.

General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) – The new legal framework

introduced by the European Union. These regulations will replace the Data Protection Act

1998 on the 25th of May 2018.

Data Protection Officer – The person(s) responsible for ensuring that The Meadows School follows its data protection policy and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Explicit consent – is a freely given, specific and informed agreement by a Data Subject

in the processing of personal information about her/him. Explicit consent is needed for

processing sensitive personal data.

Notification – Notifying the Information Commissioner about the data processing

activities of The Meadows School, as certain activities may be exempt from notification.

The link below will take to the ICO website where a self-assessment guide will help you to

decide if you are exempt from notification:

Information Commissioner – The UK Information Commissioner responsible for

implementing and overseeing the Data Protection Act 1998.

Processing – means collecting, amending, handling, storing or disclosing personal


Personal Information – Information about living individuals that enables them to be

identified – e.g. name and address. It does not apply to information about organisations,

companies and agencies but applies to named persons, such as individual volunteers or


Sensitive personal data – refers to data about:

Racial or ethnic origin

Political affiliations

Religion or similar beliefs

Trade union membership

Physical or mental health


Criminal record or proceedings

  1. The data controller

Our school processes personal data relating to parents, pupils, staff, governors, visitors and others, and therefore is a data controller.

The school is registered as a data controller with the ICO and will renew this registration annually or as otherwise legally required.

  1. Roles and responsibilities

This policy applies to all staff employed by our school, and to external organisations or individuals working on our behalf. Staff who do not comply with this policy may face disciplinary action.

7.1. Governing body

The governing body has overall responsibility for ensuring that our school complies with all relevant data protection obligations.

7.2. Data protection officer

The data protection officer (DPO) is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy, monitoring our compliance with data protection law, and developing related policies and guidelines where applicable.

They will provide an annual report of their activities directly to the governing body and, where relevant, report to the governors their advice and recommendations on school data protection issues.

The DPO is also the first point of contact for individuals whose data the school processes, and for the ICO.

Full details of the DPO's responsibilities are set out in their job description. Our DPO is Chris Tate and is contactable via: 

7.3• Head Teacher

The Head Teacher acts as the representative of the data controller on a day-to-day basis.

7.4  All staff

Staff are responsible for:

7.5 Awareness and training

As personal data is handled not only by computing systems but also by individuals, protection of personal data requires that the school staff are aware of their responsibilities when processing personal data. The school has therefore implemented mandatory training of all employees that as part of their job have access to personal data.

8. Data protection principles

The GDPR is based on data protection principles that our school must comply with. The principles say that personal data must be:

9. Collecting personal data

9.1. Lawfulness, fairness and transparency

We will only process personal data where we have one of 6 'lawful bases' (legal reasons) to do so under data protection law:

For special categories of personal data, we will also meet one of the special category conditions for processing which are set out in the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.

If we offer online services to pupils, such as classroom apps, and we intend to rely on consent as a basis for processing, we will get parental consent (except for online counselling and preventive services).

Whenever we first collect personal data directly from individuals, we will provide them with the relevant information required by data protection law.

9.2. Limitation, minimisation and accuracy

We will only collect personal data for specified, explicit and legitimate reasons. We will explain these reasons to the individuals when we first collect their data.

If we want to use personal data for reasons other than those given when we first obtained it, we will inform the individuals concerned before we do so, and seek consent where necessary.

Staff must only process personal data where it is necessary in order to do their jobs. When staff no longer need the personal data they hold, they must ensure it is deleted or anonymised. This will be done in accordance with the school's Data Retention Policy

10. Sharing personal data

We will not normally share personal data with anyone else, but may do so where:

Only share data that the supplier or contractor needs to carry out their service, and information necessary to keep them safe while working with us.

We will also share personal data with law enforcement and government bodies where we are legally required to do so, including for:

We may also share personal data with emergency services and local authorities to help them to respond to an emergency situation that affects any of our pupils or staff.

Where we transfer personal data to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, we will do so in accordance with data protection law.

11. Subject access requests and other rights of individuals

11.1. Subject access requests

Individuals have a right to make a 'subject access request' to gain access to personal information that the school holds about them. This includes:

Subject access requests must be submitted in writing, either by letter, email or fax to the DPO. They should include:

If staff receive a subject access request they must immediately forward it to the DPO.

11.2. Children and subject access requests

Personal data about a child belongs to that child, and not the child's parents or carers. For a parent or carer to make a subject access request with respect to their child, the child must either be unable to understand their rights and the implications of a subject access request, or have given their consent.

Children below the age of 12 are generally not regarded to be mature enough to understand their rights and the implications of a subject access request. Therefore, most subject access requests from parents or carers of pupils at our school may be granted without the express permission of the pupil. This is not a rule and a pupil's ability to understand their rights will always be judged on a case-by-case basis.

11.3. Responding to subject access requests

When responding to requests, we:

We will not disclose information if it:

If the request is unfounded or excessive, we may refuse to act on it, or charge a reasonable fee which takes into account administrative costs.

A request will be deemed to be unfounded or excessive if it is repetitive, or asks for further copies of the same information.

When we refuse a request, we will tell the individual why, and tell them they have the right to complain to the ICO.

11.4. Other data protection rights of the individual

  1. Parental requests to see the educational record

Parents, or those with parental responsibility, have a legal right to free access to their child's educational record (which includes most information about a pupil) within 15 school days of receipt of a written request.

  1. Biometric recognition systems

If we were to use pupils' biometric data as part of an automated biometric recognition system (for example, pupils use finger prints to receive school dinners, we will comply with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012).

Parents/carers will be notified before any biometric recognition system is put in place or before their child first takes part in it. The school will get written consent from at least one parent or carer before we take any biometric data from their child and first process it.

Parents/carers and pupils have the right to choose not to use the school's biometric system(s). We will provide alternative means of accessing the relevant services for those pupils.

Parents/carers and pupils can object to participation in the school's biometric recognition system(s), or withdraw consent, at any time, and we will make sure that any relevant data already captured is deleted.

As required by law, if a pupil refuses to participate in, or continue to participate in, the processing of their biometric data, we will not process that data irrespective of any consent given by the pupil's parent(s)/carer(s).

Where staff members or other adults use the school's biometric system(s), we will also obtain their consent before they first take part in it, and provide alternative means of accessing the relevant service if they object. Staff and other adults can also withdraw consent at any time, and the school will delete any relevant data already captured.


We use CCTV in various locations around the school site to ensure it remains safe. We will adhere to the ICO's code of practice for the use of CCTV.

We do not need to ask individuals' permission to use CCTV, but we make it clear where individuals are being recorded. Security cameras are clearly visible and accompanied by prominent signs explaining that CCTV is in use.

Any enquiries about the CCTV system should be directed to the DPO.

15. Photographs, digital images and videos

As part of our school activities, we may take photographs and record images of individuals within our school.

We will obtain written consent from parents/carers for photographs and videos to be taken of their child for communication, marketing and promotional materials. We will clearly explain how the photograph and/or video will be used to both the parent/carer and pupil.

Uses may include:

When using photographs and videos in this way we will not accompany them with any other personal information about the child, to ensure they cannot be identified.

See our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy, Use of Digital Images Policy, Data Retention Policy for more information on our use of photographs and videos.

16. Data protection by design and default

We will put measures in place to show that we have integrated data protection into all of our data processing activities, including:

17. Data security and storage of records

We will protect personal data and keep it safe from unauthorised or unlawful access, alteration, processing or disclosure, and against accidental or unlawful loss, destruction or damage.

In particular:

18. Disposal of records

Personal data that is no longer needed will be disposed of securely. Personal data that has become inaccurate or out of date will also be disposed of securely, where we cannot or do not need to rectify or update it.

For example, we will shred or incinerate paper-based records, and overwrite or delete electronic files. We may also use a third party to safely dispose of records on the school's behalf. If we do so, we will require the third party to provide sufficient guarantees that it complies with data protection law.

19. Personal data breaches

The school will make all reasonable endeavours to ensure that there are no personal data breaches.

In the unlikely event of a suspected data breach, we will follow the procedure set out in appendix 1.

When appropriate, we will report the data breach to the ICO within 72 hours. Such breaches in a school context may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Training

All staff and governors are provided with data protection training as part of their induction process.

Data protection will also form part of continuing professional development, where changes to legislation, guidance or the school's processes make it necessary.

  1. Links with other policies

This data protection policy is linked to our:

22. Monitoring and Review 

The DPO and the Head Teacher are responsible for monitoring and reviewing this policy.

This policy will be reviewed and updated if necessary when the Data Protection Bill receives royal assent and becomes law (as the Data Protection Act 2018) — if any changes are made to the bill that affect our school's practice. Otherwise, or from then on, this policy will be reviewed every two years and shared with the full governing board.

It is the role of the DPO to monitor the policy and practice of Data Protection. The DPO liaises with the Head Teacher before reporting to the governors on Data Protection issues.

Date:                        Review:                


Chair of Governors                                                                

Adopted by the Governing Body on ____________________________

The Data Protection Officer is _______________________________

Appendix 1: Personal data breach procedure

This procedure is based on guidance on personal data breaches produced by the ICO.

On finding or causing a breach, or potential breach, the staff member or data processor must immediately notify the DPO.

If it's likely that there will be a risk to people's rights and freedoms, the DPO must notify the ICO.

Records of all breaches will be stored in a password protected folder in the school's computer system.

Actions to minimise the impact of data breaches

We will take the actions set out below to mitigate the impact of different types of data breach, focusing especially on breaches involving particularly risky or sensitive information. We will review the effectiveness of these actions and amend them as necessary after any data breach.

Sensitive information being disclosed via email (including safeguarding records)

Details of pupil premium interventions for named children being published on the school website

Non-anonymised pupil exam results or staff pay information being shared with governors

A school laptop containing non-encrypted sensitive personal data being stolen or hacked

External Providers

The following external companies are used by the school for data, and delivering the curriculum.  Links to the companies GDPR statements can be found below

Renaissance Learning - Accelerated Reader                           Privacy Policy

Oxford University Press - My Maths                                        Privacy Policy

White Space Limited - Word Shark and Numbershark                Privacy Policy

Lexia                                                                                Privacy Policy

Cornerstones                                                                Privacy Policy

Durham County                                                                Privacy Policy

Faronics Wise                                                                Privacy Policy

Kirkless                                                                        Privacy Notice

Sunderland City Council                                                        GDPR

South Tyneside Council                                                        Privacy Notice

Eduspot - Behaviour watch and Teachers 2 Parents                Privacy Policy

JCQ                                                                                 Privacy Policy

Susan Stewart is a Speech and Language Therapist

Privacy Notice Students                               Privacy notice Parents and Carers

Appendix 2 - Links to resources and guidance

ICO Guidance on GDPR

Specific information for schools is available here.  This includes links to guides from the DfE

Specific Information about CCTV

Information and Records Management Society – Schools records management toolkit

A downloadable schedule for all records management in schools

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Details of storage and access to DBS certificate information.

DFE Privacy Notices

DFE Use of Biometric Data

Appendix 3 - Glossary

GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulation.  These are new European-wide rules that are the basis of data protection legislation.  They are enforced in the UK by the ICO.

Data Protection Act 1998: Now superseded by GDPR
All personal data which is held must be processed and retained in accordance with the eight principles of the Act and with the rights of the individual. Personal data must not be kept longer than is necessary (this may be affected by the requirements of other Acts in relation to financial data or personal data disclosed to Government departments). Retention of personal data must take account of the Act, and personal data must be disposed of as confidential waste. Covers both personal data relating to employees and to members of the public.

The Information Commissioner’s Office.  This is a government body that regulates the Data Protection Act and GDPR

The ICO website is here

Data Protection Act 1998: Compliance Advice. Subject access – Right of access to education records in England:
General information note from the Information Commissioner on access to education records. Includes timescale (15 days) and photocopy costs.

Data Protection Act 1998: Compliance Advice. Disclosure of examination results by schools to the media:
General information note from the Information Commissioner on publication of examination results.

Education Act 1996:
Section 509 covers retention of home to school transport appeal papers. (By LA)

Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005:  
Retention of Pupil records

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 & Health and Safety at Work Act 1972: Retention requirements for a range of health and safety documentation including accident books, H&S manuals etc.

School Standards and Framework Act 1998:
Retention of school admission and exclusion appeal papers and other pupil records.

Created May 2018 Revised October 2019

 The Meadows  School, Data Protection Policy October 2019

Reviewed on

Oct 2019

Next Review

Oct 2020

 Sense of Belonging       Progress for All               Additional and Different                Always Learning