In May 2018, the laws surrounding data protection changed and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect.
The GDPR forms part of the data protection regime in the UK, together with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), and is designed to strengthen and unify all data held within an organisation and to provide transparency regarding its storage and usage. GDPR requires schools to inform parents and stakeholders about how they are using students’ data and who it is being used by. It brings higher standards for handling data, improved transparency, enhanced data security and increased accountability for processing personal data. Schools have a legal duty to comply with the GDPR.
What does GDPR mean for schools?
A great deal of the processing of personal data undertaken by schools will fall under a specific legal basis, ‘in the public interest’. As it is in the public interest to operate schools successfully, it will mean that specific consent will not be needed in the majority of cases in schools.
GDPR will ensure data is protected and will give individuals more control over their data, however this means schools will have greater accountability for the data:
- Under GDPR, consent must be explicitly given to anything that isn’t within the normal business of the school, especially if it involves a third party managing the data. Parents (or the pupil themselves depending on their age) must express consent for their child’s data to be used outside of the normal business of the school.
- Schools must appoint a Data Protection Officer and be able to prove that they are GDPR compliant.
- Schools must ensure that their third party suppliers who may process any of their data is GDPR compliant and must have legally binding contracts with any company that processes any personal data. These contracts must cover what data is being processed, who it is being processed by, who has access to it and how it is protected.
- It will be compulsory that all data breaches which are likely to have a detrimental effect on the data subject are reported to the ICO within 72 hours.
Information Commissioner's Office - A Guide to GDPR
Information Commissioner's Office - GDPR Guide for Schools
Changes due to the UK exiting the EU
As the UK transitional arrangements expired on 31 December 2020, there are some practical changes for Data Protection and the GDPR.
To comply with the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 please note that every policy, notice and procedural guide that refers to ‘GDPR’ shall now be read as ‘UK GDPR’.
The rights, responsibilities and data protection that the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR are not changed. Our procedures and arrangements will not change.
Please contact us if you have any queries.
The documents below contain all of the relevant GDPR information for parents/carers. Our interactive Data Map can be viewed here.