Privacy Notice

Privacy notice

How we use personal information relating to our pupils

Under data protection law, individuals have a right to be informed about how the school uses any personal data that we hold about them. We comply with this right by providing ‘privacy notices’ (sometimes called ‘fair processing notices’) to individuals where we are processing their personal data.

This privacy notice explains how we collect, store and use personal data about pupils.

We, St. Mary’s VA CofE Lower School, are the ‘data controller’ for the purposes of data protection law.

Our data protection officer is Yvonne Salvin (see ‘Contact us’ below).


The personal data we hold:
Personal data that we may collect, use, store and share (when appropriate) about pupils includes:

  • Personal information about the pupils that come to our school such as name, unique pupil number, address, date of birth
  • Characteristics such as home language, meal arrangements and eligibility, special educational needs
  • Information that is categorised as special data such as gender, ethnicity, religion and medical information
  • Contact information such as parental and other carer contact names and telephone numbers for use in case of emergency
  • Safeguarding information such as court orders, professional involvement and contact with non-resident parents
  • Medical information such as GP surgery details, allergies, medication and dietary requirements
  • Sibling information
  • History of previous schools or nurseries attended
  • Attendance information such as sessions attended, number of absences and absence reasons
  • Results of assessments during the academic year as well as end of year attainment
  • Behaviour information including, where relevant, internal, fixed and permanent exclusions and any relevant alternative provision
  • Photographs of individual pupils
  • CCTV images captured in school

We obtain pupil information for the start of each academic year through our registration forms.  We also collect any changes to pupil information through update forms during the academic year.  We may also collect data about pupils that we have received from other organisations, including other schools, local authorities and the Department for Education through secure file transfers.

Why we use this data
We use this data to:

  • Support pupil learning
  • Safeguard pupils in our care
  • Record attendance
  • Monitor and report on pupil attainment and progress
  • Provide appropriate pastoral care
  • Keep children safe whilst in our care
  • Assess the quality of our services
  • Comply with the law regarding data returns and sharing
  • Provide any additional support

We use parent/carer contact information to:

  • Email parent/carers for purpose of notification of school events and information
  • Telephone parents/carers in cases of emergency or other matters relating to the safety of the child

Our legal basis for using this data
We only collect and use pupils’ personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we process it where:

  • We need to comply with a legal obligation (which necessitates our school making statutory data returns to the Department for Education (DfE) and our Local Authority)
  • We need it to perform an official task in the public interest (as an educational setting/school with the delegated task of educating and safeguarding the children in our care)

Less commonly, we may also process pupils’ personal data in situations where:

  • We will ask you for information on the legal basis of legitimate interest where the information is required to support an educational or safeguarding function
  • We have obtained consent to use it in a certain way

Where we have obtained consent to use pupils’ personal data, this consent can be withdrawn at any time. We will make this clear when we ask for consent, and explain how consent can be withdrawn.  We will also make it clear the possible consequences of not complying with the collection of information or withdrawing consent.

Some of the reasons listed above for collecting and using pupils’ personal data overlap, and there may be several grounds which justify our use of this data.

If at any point in the future, we seek to use any previously collected information for another purpose or use the information in new software, we will issue an updated Privacy Notice.

How we store this data

We keep personal information about pupils while they are attending our school. We may also keep it beyond their attendance at our school if this is necessary in order to comply with our legal obligations.

Our Retention Policy sets out how long we keep information about pupils.   You may request a copy of our Retention Policy from Mrs. Topliff, Office Manager.

The following processes ensure that we comply with data protection legislation in how we manage the protection of personal data:

  • Our network, file systems and server operating systems are secured through firewalls and spyware/virus detection programs on our servers to prevent unauthorised access to our data
  • Data held in a physical location within school is held securely and only accessed by staff with appropriate authorisation
  • Access to data on systems is through individual passwords which are carefully managed and monitored
  • Any data that is removed from the school is minimised and encrypted
  • Older data is safely removed from computers and other devices
  • Data shared with the DfE and the Local Authority is shared through secure file transfer systems. Any data shared with other legitimate third parties where there is a legal basis for sharing will only be shared through secure methods
  • Data shared with third party software suppliers is controlled by the school. We will only deal with suppliers who can demonstrate that they comply with the requirements of data protection legislation and not use personal data for any other purpose than the purpose for fulfilling the functions we have contracted with them (e.g. assessment)
  • We ensure all staff receive regular training on data protection

We also adhere to our Data Breach Policy in the event of a data breach.  These procedures explain how our school responds to occurrences of known or reported data breaches.

Data sharing

We do not share information about pupils with any third party without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.

Where it is legally required, or necessary (and it complies with data protection law) we may share personal information about pupils with:

  • Our local authority – to meet our legal obligations to share certain information with it, such as safeguarding concerns and exclusions
  • The Department for Education – to share individual pupil assessment data in order to provide information relevant to national statistics
  • The pupil’s family and representatives – after gaining official identification and rights of anyone other than the parents, we may be asked to share educational records, for example
  • Educators and examining bodies – in order to provide appropriate tests or education content
  • Our school SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator) – in order to provide appropriate and effective support to pupils as required
  • Our regulator Ofsted – in order to provide evidence against lines of enquiry
  • Suppliers and service providers – to enable them to provide the service we have contracted them for e.g. extra-curricular clubs, third party software suppliers
  • Financial organisations – in order to provide opportunities for online payments to be made
  • Health and welfare authorities and organisations – in order for them to provide statutory and other provision e.g. eye check, weight check, immunisations
  • Security organisations – where there has been the need to review CCTV footage in collaboration with the police
  • Professional advisers and consultants – in order for them to complete diagnosis or analysis or provide input on pupils individual performance within school
  • Police forces, courts, tribunals – where necessary pertaining to criminal acts, as part of safeguarding or special educational needs assessment/information
  • The school that a pupil attends after leaving us
  • Charities and voluntary organisations – where they are providing support as arranged by the parent/carer

We actively ensure that all of the third party software organisations we share data with comply with the GDPR through their Privacy Notices and Data Sharing Agreements.

National Pupil Database

We are required to provide information about pupils to the Department for Education as part of statutory data collections such as the school census.

Some of this information is then stored in the National Pupil Database (NPD), which is owned and managed by the Department and provides evidence on school performance to inform research.

The database is held electronically so it can easily be turned into statistics. The information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and exam boards.

The Department for Education may share information from the NPD with other organisations which promote children’s education or wellbeing in England. Such organisations must agree to strict terms and conditions about how they will use the data.

For more information, see the Department’s webpage on how it collects and shares research data.

You can also contact the Department for Education with any further questions about the NPD.

Transferring data internationally

Where we transfer personal data to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, we will do so in accordance with data protection law.

Parents and pupils’ rights regarding personal data

Individuals have a right to make a ‘subject access request’ to gain access to personal information that the school holds about them.

Parents/carers can make a request with respect to their child’s data where the child is not considered mature enough to understand their rights over their own data (usually under the age of 13), or where the child has provided consent.

If you make a subject access request, and if we do hold information about you or your child, we will:

  • Give you a description of it
  • Tell you why we are holding and processing it, and how long we will keep it for
  • Explain where we got it from, if not from you or your child
  • Tell you who it has been, or will be, shared with
  • Let you know whether any automated decision-making is being applied to the data, and any consequences of this
  • Give you a copy of the information in an intelligible form

Individuals also have the right for their personal information to be transmitted electronically to another organisation in certain circumstances.

If you would like to make a request please contact Mrs. Topliff via the school office. Our school will follow procedures outlined in our Subject Access Request Policy.

Other rights

Under data protection law, individuals have certain rights regarding how their personal data is used and kept safe, including the right to:

  • Object to the use of personal data if it would cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • Prevent it being used to send direct marketing
  • Object to decisions being taken by automated means (by a computer or machine, rather than by a person)
  • In certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data corrected, deleted or destroyed, or restrict processing
  • Claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the data protection regulations

To exercise any of these rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer.


We take any complaints about our collection and use of personal information very seriously.

If you think that our collection or use of personal information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate, or have any other concern about our data processing, please raise this with us in the first instance.

To make a complaint, please contact our Data Protection Officer.

Alternatively, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

  • Report a concern online at
  • Call 0303 123 1113
  • Or write to: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Contact us

If you have any questions, concerns or would like more information about anything mentioned in this privacy notice, please contact our Data Protection Officer:

  • Yvonne Salvin via the School Office (