Pupil services

Question:
Pupil services
Answer:

We process your data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK privacy legislation and if you have any concerns the Council’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted on DPO@towerhamlets.gov.uk

The categories of information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

  • personal information (such as name, date of birth and address)
  • characteristics (such as ethnicity, language and free school meal eligibility)
  • attendance information such as schools attended and any exclusions
  • information from schools and partner agencies such as Attendance and Welfare, Educational Pschology, Health and Social Care regarding a child/young person’s special educational, social, emotional, mental, medical and health needs
  • information from partners contained on an Early Help Assessment that will already have parental consent to be shared
  • information we record as a result of working directly with a child or young person e.g. observations, interviews and assessments.

Why we collect and use this information

We use children and young persons’ data to:

  • enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible, including school admissions, appeals, travel assistance, chaperone and child performance licences
  • to support schools to include children with special educational needs and disabilities and enable their full access to education
  • assess the quality of our services
  • use statistics to inform and improve our service delivery.

A delay in you providing the information requested may result in a delay in providing appropriate services. 

The lawful basis on which we use this information

The relevant applicable conditions under Article 6 and Article 9 of the GDPR for processing your data are:

Article 6

  1. Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:

 (a) the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes   

 (c) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject;

 (e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller;

Article 9

  1. Processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.
  1. Paragraph 1 shall not apply if one of the following applies:

(g) processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of  Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject;

(j) Processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject.

Other relevant legislation for processing your data are:

  1. the Education Act 1996
  2. the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (‘SSFA 1998’) 
  3. the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
  4. Education (Information About Individual Pupils)(England) Regulations 2013
  5. Education and Inspections Act 2006 (section 4 and 38)
  6. Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006
  7. Education (Pupil Registration) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2016
  8. Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations 2001
  9. Equality Act 2010
  10. Human Rights Act 1998

Tower Hamlets Borough Council also has a duty under the Children’s Act 2004 to work with partners to provide and improve services to children and young people in the area. Therefore, Tower Hamlets Borough Council may use this information for other legitimate purposes and may share this information where necessary with other bodies responsible for administering services to children and young people.

Collecting this information

Whilst the majority of children and young persons’ information you provide to us is collected under the legal framework above, some of it may be  provided to us on a voluntary basis. An example of this would be when we ask for your feedback on the quality of our services. In order to comply with the data protection legislation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain information to us or if you have a choice in this.

We share data with the local authority in order that they can improve services to children and young people. This data would normally be anonymised and never used to make decisions on a specific individual or family.

Storing this information

We hold children and young  people’s data for no longer thanwe need to by law - this is likely to be for no more than 7 years, but some records will be kept for up to 35 years from the date of birth if, for example,  a young person  had an Education Health and Care Plan.

We may also anonymise some personal data you provide to us to ensure that you cannot be identified and use this for statistical analysis of data to allow the Council to effectively target and plan the provision of services. 

Who we share this information with

We may share data with:

  • internal departments within the council
  • other local authorities
  • schools, early years providers, children centres, further education colleges, pupil referal units, academies, including non-maintained special schools where it is of specific relevance to the admission and education of the child or young person
  • other partner agencies that provide services on our behalf
  • agencies with whom we have a duty to co-operate, such as police.

Tower Hamlets Borough Council also has a duty under the Children’s Act 2004 to work with partners to provide and improve services to children and young people in the area.

The main reason we share data is to enable us to best support the children and young people we work with or to enable schools  and settings to do so, as efficiently as possible.

We will not share any information about you outside the school without your consent unless we have a lawful basis for doing so.

In certain circumstances, we may need to share information with other organisations without your consent for statutory purposes. These can include, but are not limited to, where we believe there is risk of significant harm to a child, young person or vulnerable adult, and for the purposes of crime prevention and national security.

For more information about the department’s data sharing process, visit GOV guidance on how we collect and share research data

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, parents and pupils have the right to request access to information about them that we hold which must be responded to within 30 working days. To make a request for your personal information, or be given access to your child’s educational record held by their education provider, contact the council’s Data Protection Officer who can be contacted on DPO@towerhamlets.gov.uk or contact the head of service directly at terry.bryan@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

You also have the right to: 

  • a change of any inaccurate data we hold about you or your child
  • that we restrict our processing of you/your child’s data and/or restrict whom we share the data with, where permitted by law
  • withdraw consent and remove data relating to you/your child, where permitted by law
  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with the head of service directly at email  in the first instance.

Further information

If you would like further information about this privacy notice, including information on your rights, please contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer at DPO@towerhamlets.gov.uk.