Data Protection Policy
Watergate School recognises its responsibility to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. This Policy sets out how we will handle and process data in accordance with the legal requirements and should be read in conjunction with other policies like the e-Safety Policy.
Watergate School holds confidential information and will ensure that it follows the highest quality data protection systems and procedures to ensure the safety and security of children, parents and staff.
Watergate School recognises that the maintenance of accurate and up to date records, policies and procedures is necessary to operate safely, efficiently and in accordance with the law.
Watergate School has written this policy to ensure that best practice and procedures are carried out. This policy complies with the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework.
The Data Protection Act:
The Act regulates the use of personal data. This does not have to be sensitive data; it can be as little as a name and address. Data held about children must only be used for specific purposes allowed by law. The Act sets out high standards for the handling of personal information and protecting individuals’ rights for privacy. It also regulates how information can be collected, handled and used. It requires that we must have regard to the following principles in dealing with personal information:
- Data is processed fairly and lawfully
This means that information should only be collected from individuals if the school has been open and honest about why the information is needed
- Data is processed for specified purposes only
- Data is relevant for the purpose it is needed for
Data needs to be monitored so that too much or too little is not kept; only data that is needed should be held
- Data is accurate and kept up to date
Personal data should be accurate; if it is not, it should be corrected
- Data is not kept longer than it is needed
- Data is processed in accordance with the rights of individuals
This means that individuals must be informed, upon request, of all the information held about them
- Data is kept securely
This means that only staff can access the data. It should be stored securely so it cannot be accessed by members of the public
The school collects and uses personal information (referred to in the Data Protection Act as personal data) about staff, pupils, parents and other individuals who come into contact with the school. This information is gathered in order to enable the provision of education and other associated functions. In addition, the school may be required by law to collect, use and share certain information.
- This policy sets out how the school deals with personal information correctly and securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and other related legislation;
- The policy applies to al personal information however it is collected, used, recorded and stored and whether it is held on paper or electronically;
- All school staff and governors involved with the collection, use, processing or disclosure of personal data will be aware of their duties and responsibilities and will adhere to this policy.
Implementation of Policy
The personal information we hold:
At Watergate School we hold and process information on children and pupils in order to support their development, to monitor their progress, to provide appropriate pastoral care, and to assess how well the setting as a whole is doing. This information includes contact details, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant medical information.
Our procedures under the Act:
The Act applies to anyone holding information about people electronically or on paper. We have a number of procedures in place to ensure that we comply with its requirements.
- Data collection
We will be open with parents when taking personal details from them. This means that teaching and office staff will be honest about why they want a particular piece of information. If, for example, home and office telephone numbers are requested from parents, we will ensure that these details are used only for the purpose specified i.e. for contacting that parent in the event of emergency or in relation to other school business, and will not be disclosed to anyone else.
- Storing data
School will hold information about pupils such as their addresses and telephone numbers, their progress records and medical information. These details will be kept in securely, and are not available for public access. All data stored on the school computers is password protected. Once data is not needed any more, if it is out of date or has served its use, it will be shredded or deleted from the computer.
- Accessing data
Parents, as data subjects, have the right to access any information that is held about them and about their child. If a person requests to see any data that is being held about them:
We fully respect the need to protect our children and parents regarding any and all confidential information in our keeping. However, from time to time, we are required to pass on some of this data to local authorities, the Department for Education and to agencies prescribed by law, such as OFSTED.
Disability Equality Impact Assessment
This policy has been written with reference to and in consideration of the school’s Disability Equality Scheme. Assessment will include consideration of issues identified by the involvement of disabled children, staff and parents and any information the school holds on disabled children, staff and parents.
The school is committed to maintaining the above principles at all times. Therefore the school will:
- Inform individuals why personal information is being collected;
- Inform individuals when their information is shared, and why and with whom unless the Data Protection Act provides a reason not to do this;
- Check the accuracy of the information it holds and review it at regular intervals;
- Ensure that only authorised personnel have access to the personal information whatever medium (paper or electronic) it is stored in;
- Ensure that clear and robust safeguards are in place to ensure personal information is kept securely and to protect personal information from loss, theft and unauthorised disclosure, irrespective of the format in which it is recorded;
- Ensure that personal information is not retained longer than it is needed;
- Ensure that when information is destroyed that it is done so appropriately and securely;
- Share personal information with others only when it is legally appropriate to do so;
- Comply with the duty to respond to requests for access to personal information, know as Subject Access Requests;
- Ensure that personal information is not transferred outside the EEA without the appropriate safeguards;
- Ensure all staff and governors are aware of and understand these policies and procedures.
Complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s complaints policy. Review
This policy will be reviewed as it is deemed appropriate, but no less frequently than every 3 years. The policy review will be undertaken by the head teacher, or nominated representative (e.g. ICT leader).
Any questions or concerns regarding this policy should be made to Fiona Veitch Headteacher.
Reviewed January 2018