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 2026

1. Aims

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.

3. Definitions

Personal data – Any information relating to an identified, or identifiable, individual. This may include the individual’s:

Special categories of personal data Personal data which is more sensitive and so needs more protection, including information about an individual’s:

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 datacontroller@latrust.org.uk.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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. 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:

A Subject Access Request can happen in a number of ways, email, letter, conversation, telephone call , or via social media.  They should include:

If staff identify a subject access request they must immediately report it to their Data Compliance Officer and forward details of the request to datacontroller@latrust.org.uk.

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:

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.

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:

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.

11. CCTV

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 datacontroller@latrust.org.uk.

12. Photographs and videos

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

We will provide the LAT Photography Policy and Opt Out Form for 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. 

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.

The lawful basis for the use of photography comes under public task, this lawful basis is relied upon when exercising our legal duties or powers. LAT will review the retention of images every 5 years with a view to disposal, or a further specified retention period for consideration of transfer to our archives.  Should you wish to opt out from your child’s image being used please refer to the LAT Photography Policy & Opt Out Form via the link below.

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:

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:

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:

17. 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 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: