This policy applies to all members of Leigh Academies Trust (“the Trust”). For the purposes of this policy, the term “staff” means all members of staff within the Trust, including permanent, fixed-term and temporary staff. It also refers to governors, any third-party representatives, agency workers, volunteers, interns, agents and sponsors engaged with the Trust. This policy also applies to all members of staff employed by any of the Trust’s subsidiary companies.
All contractors and agents acting for or on behalf of the Trust will be made aware of this policy.
- Document Title: Data Protection Policy
- Version Number: 5.2
- Policy Status: Approved
- Date of Issue: May 2018
- Date to be revised: May 2024
Our organisation 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.
Leigh Academies Trust is a single legal entity, therefore references to ‘LAT’ in this policy should be considered as inclusive of its academies.
2. 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.
It meets the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 when referring to our 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 our funding agreement and articles of association.
Personal data – Any information relating to an identified, or identifiable, individual. This may include the individual’s:
- Name (including initials);
- Identification number;
- Location data;
- Online identifiers, such as a username It may also include factors specific to the individual’s physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.
Special categories of personal data Personal data which is more sensitive and so needs more protection, including information about an individual’s:
- Racial or ethnic origin;
- Political opinions;
- Religious or philosophical beliefs;
- Trade union membership;
- Biometrics (such as fingerprints, retina and iris patterns), where used for identification purposes;
- Health – physical or mental;
- Sex life or sexual orientation.
Processing – Anything done to personal data, such as collecting, recording, organising, structuring, storing, adapting, altering, retrieving, using, disseminating, erasing or destroying. Processing can be automated or manual.
Data subject – The identified or identifiable individual whose personal data is held or processed.
Data controller – A person or organisation that determines the purposes and the means of processing of personal data.
Data processor – A person or other body, other than an employee of the data controller, who processes personal data on behalf of the data controller.
Personal data breach – A breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to personal data.
4. The Data Controller
LAT processes personal data relating to parents, pupils, staff, governors, visitors and others, and therefore is a data controller. LAT is registered as a data controller with the ICO and will renew this registration annually or as otherwise legally required.
5. Roles and responsibilities
This policy applies to all staff employed by LAT, and to external organisations or individuals working on our behalf. Staff who do not comply with this policy may face disciplinary action.
5.1 LAT Board
The Board has overall responsibility for ensuring that LAT and its academies comply with all relevant data protection obligations.
5.2 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 Trust Resources Committee and, where relevant, report to the Trust Board their advice and recommendations on academy data protection issues.
The DPO is also the first point of contact for individuals whose data LAT processes, and for the ICO.
Our DPO is Stephane Vernoux and is contactable via email@example.com.
5.3 Data Compliance Officer
Each academy and the head office of the Trust will act as the representative of the data controller on a day-to-day basis. They will be assisted by a nominated Data Compliance Officer who will coordinate with the Data Protection Officer on specific data protection matters.
5.4 Local Data Officer
Each academy, and the head office of the Trust, will be supported by a nominated Local Data Officer (LDO) who will coordinate with the Data Compliance Officer on specific data protection matters.
5.5 All Staff
Staff are responsible for:
- Collecting, storing and processing any personal data in accordance with this policy;
- Informing the Trust head office of any changes to their personal data, such as a change of address.
- Contacting their Local Data Officer (LDO) in the following circumstances:
- Whenever they are engaging in a new activity that may affect the privacy rights of individuals;
- If they are engaging with any contracts or sharing personal data with third parties;
- If they need to rely on, or capture consent.
- Contacting their Data Compliance Officer (DCO) in the following circumstances:
- With any questions about the operation of this policy, data protection law, retaining personal data or keeping personal data secure;
- If they have any concerns that this policy is not being followed.
- Contacting the DPO in the following circumstances:
- If there has been a data breach;
- If they are unsure whether or not they have a lawful basis to use personal data in a particular way
- If they need to draft a privacy notice, deal with data protection rights invoked by an individual, or transfer personal data outside the European Economic Area.
6. Data protection principles
The GDPR is based on data protection principles that LAT must comply with. The principles state that personal data must be:
- Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;
- Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes;
- Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it is processed;
- Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
- Kept for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed;
- Processed in a way that ensures it is appropriately secure.
This policy sets out how LAT aims to comply with these principles.
7. Collecting personal data
7.1 Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
We will only process personal data where we have one of 6 ‘lawful basis’ (legal reasons) to do so under data protection law:
- The data needs to be processed so that LAT can fulfil a contract with the individual, or the individual has asked LAT to take specific steps before entering into a contract;
- The data needs to be processed so that LAT can comply with a legal obligation;
- The data needs to be processed to ensure the vital interests of the individual e.g. to protect someone’s life;
- The data needs to be processed so that LAT, as a public authority, can perform a task in the public interest, and carry out its official functions;
- The data needs to be processed for the legitimate interests of LAT or a third party (provided the individual’s rights and freedoms are not overridden);
- The individual (or their parent/carer when appropriate in the case of a pupil) has freely given clear consent.
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.
Whenever we first collect personal data directly from individuals, we will provide them with the relevant information required by data protection law.
7.2 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 LAT Data Retention Policy.
8. Sharing personal data
We will not normally share personal data with anyone else, but may do so where:
- There is an issue with a pupil or parent/carer that puts the safety of our staff at risk;
- We need to liaise with other agencies – we may need to seek consent as necessary before doing this;
- Our suppliers or contractors need data to enable us to provide services to our staff and pupils – for example, IT companies. When doing this, we will:
- Only appoint suppliers or contractors which can provide sufficient guarantees that they comply with data protection law
- Establish a data sharing agreement with the supplier or contractor, either in the contract or as a standalone agreement, to ensure the fair and lawful processing of any personal data we share
- 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:
- The prevention or detection of crime and/or fraud;
- The apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
- The assessment or collection of tax owed to HMRC;
- In connection with legal proceedings;
- Where the disclosure is required to satisfy our safeguarding obligations;
- Research and statistical purposes, as long as personal data is sufficiently anonymised or consent has been provided.
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. When we transfer personal data to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, we will do so in accordance with data protection law.
9. Subject access requests and other rights of individuals
9.1 Subject access requests
Individuals have a right to make a ‘subject access request’ to gain access to personal information that LAT holds about them. This includes:
- Confirmation that their personal data is being processed;
- Access to a copy of the data;
- The purposes of the data processing;
- The categories of personal data concerned;
- Who the data has been, or will be, shared with;
- How long the data will be stored for, or if this isn’t possible, the criteria used to determine this period;
- The source of the data, if not the individual;
- Whether any automated decision-making is being applied to their data, and what the significance and consequences of this might be for the individual.
Subject access requests can be submitted in writing, either by letter or email to the DPO. They should include:
- Name of individual;
- Correspondence address;
- Contact number and email address;
- Details of the information requested.
If staff identify a subject access request they must immediately report it to their Data Compliance Officer and forward details of the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
9.2 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, subject access requests from parents or carers of pupils who are under the age of 12 may be granted without the express permission of the pupil.
By contrast, children aged 12 and above are generally regarded to be mature enough to understand their rights and the implications of a subject access request. Therefore, subject access requests from parents or carers of pupils who are 12 and over may not be granted without the express permission of the pupil. A pupil’s ability to understand their rights in respect of the above will always be judged on a case-by-case basis.
9.3 Responding to subject access requests
When responding to requests, we:
- May ask the individual to provide a form of identification;
- May contact the individual to confirm the request was made;
- Will respond without delay, and within 1 month of receipt of the request;
- Will provide the information free of charge in most cases, however, you can charge a reasonable fee for the administrative costs of complying with a request if it is manifestly unfounded or excessive, or if an individual requests further copies of their data.
- May tell the individual we will comply within 3 months of receipt of the request, where a request is complex or numerous. We will inform the individual of this within 1 month, and explain why the extension is necessary.
We will not disclose information if it:
- Might cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of the pupil or another individual;
- Would reveal that the child is at risk of abuse, where the disclosure of that information would not be in the child’s best interests;
- Is contained in adoption or parental order records;
- Is given to a court in proceedings concerning the child.
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.
9.4 Other data protection rights of the individual
In addition to the right to make a subject access request (see above), and to receive information when we are collecting their data about how we use and process it (see section 7), individuals also have the right to:
- Withdraw their consent to processing at any time;
- Ask us to rectify, erase or restrict processing of their personal data, or object to the processing of it (in certain circumstances);
- Prevent use of their personal data for direct marketing;
- Challenge processing which has been justified on the basis of public interest;
- Request a copy of agreements under which their personal data is transferred outside of the European Economic Area;
- Object to decisions based solely on automated decision making or profiling (decisions taken with no human involvement, that might negatively affect them);
- Prevent processing that is likely to cause damage or distress;
- Be notified of a data breach in certain circumstances;
- Make a complaint to the ICO;
- Ask for their personal data to be transferred to a third party in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format (in certain circumstances).
Individuals should submit any request to exercise these rights to the DPO. If staff receive such a request, they must immediately forward it to the LDO.
10. Biometric recognition systems
In the context of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, a “child” means a person under the age of 18.
Where we use pupils’ biometric data as part of an automated biometric recognition system (for example, pupils use biometric to receive academy dinners instead of paying with cash, 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. LAT 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 LAT’s biometric system(s). We will provide alternative means of accessing the relevant services for those pupils. For example, pupils can pay for academy dinners in cash at each transaction if they wish.
Parents/carers and pupils can object to participation in LAT’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 LAT’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 LAT will delete any relevant data already captured.
We use CCTV in various locations 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 academy CCTV systems should be directed to the academy themselves. Any enquiries about CCTV at other locations should be sent to email@example.com.
12. Photographs and videos
As part of our regular activities, we may take photographs and record images of individuals within LAT.
We will obtain written consent from parents/carers, or pupils aged 18 and over or who are vulnerable in any way, for photographs and videos to be taken of pupils for communication, marketing and promotional materials, even if the subject(s) seems willing to do it. We will clearly explain how the photograph and/or video will be used to both the parent/carer and pupil.
Uses may include:
- Within academy on notice boards and in academy magazines, brochures, newsletters, etc;
- Outside of academy by external agencies such as LAT appointed photographers, newspapers, campaigns;
- Online on LAT websites or social media pages.
Consent can be refused or withdrawn at any time. If consent is withdrawn, we will delete the photograph or video and not distribute it further.
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.
13. 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:
- Appointing a suitably qualified DPO, and ensuring they have the necessary resources to fulfil their duties and maintain their expert knowledge;
- Only processing personal data that is necessary for each specific purpose of processing, and always in line with the data protection principles set out in relevant data protection law (see section 6);
- Completing privacy impact assessments where LAT’s processing of personal data presents a high risk to rights and freedoms of individuals, and when introducing new technologies (the DPO will advise on this process);
- Integrating data protection into internal documents including this policy, any related policies and privacy notices;
- Regularly training members of staff on data protection law, this policy, any related policies and any other data protection matters; we will also keep a record of attendance;
- Regularly conducting reviews and audits to test our privacy measures and make sure we are compliant;
- Maintaining records of our processing activities, including:
- For the benefit of data subjects, making available the name and contact details of LAT and DPO and all information we are required to share about how we use and process their personal data (via our privacy notices);
- For all personal data that we hold, maintain an internal record of the type of data, data subject, how and why we are using the data, any third-party recipients, how and why we are storing the data, retention periods and how we are keeping the data secure.
14. 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:
- Paper-based records and portable electronic devices, such as laptops and hard drives that contain personal data are kept under lock and key when not in use
- Papers containing confidential personal data must not be left on office and classroom desks, on staff room tables, pinned to notice/display boards, or left anywhere else where there is general access
- Complex passwords must be used to access LAT computers, laptops and other electronic devices. A password can be classed as complex when it is at least 8 characters long, contains letters and numbers and at least one special character. Staff and pupils will be prompted to change their passwords at regular intervals
- Encryption software is used to protect portable devices and removable media, such as laptops and USB devices as per the LAT Information Security Encryption Policy
- Staff, pupils or governors who store personal information on their personal devices are expected to follow the same security procedures as for Trust-owned equipment
- Where we need to share personal data with a third party, we carry out due diligence and take reasonable steps to ensure it is stored securely and adequately protected (see section 8)
15. 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 LAT’s behalf. If we do so, we will require the third party to provide sufficient guarantees that it complies with data protection law. See the LAT Data Retention Policy for more information on our retention periods.
16. Personal data breaches
LAT 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 LAT data breach procedure.
When appropriate, we will report the data breach to the ICO within 72 hours. Such breaches in an educational context may include, but are not limited to:
- A non-anonymised data set being lost, or published accidentally;
- Safeguarding information being made available to an unauthorised person;
- The theft of a Trust laptop containing non-encrypted personal data about pupils.
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 LAT’s processes make it necessary.
18. Monitoring arrangements
The DPO is responsible for monitoring and reviewing this policy. The DPO may also get input from appropriate persons at LAT.
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 LAT’s practice. Otherwise, or from then on, this policy will be reviewed every 2 years and shared with all academies.
19. Links with other policies
This data protection policy is part of the LAT Information Governance Framework and is linked to our:
- Freedom of information publication scheme;
- Data Retention Policy.