Privacy Policy

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Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 October 2022
Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Applicable to all Members of the College Community (past and present)

What this Policy is for

This policy is intended to provide information about how the College will use (or "process") personal data about individuals including: its current, past and prospective staff; current, past and prospective pupils; and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this policy as "parents").

This information is provided in accordance with the rights of individuals under Data Protection Law to understand how their data is used. Staff, Parents and Pupils are all encouraged to read this Privacy Notice and understand the College’s obligations to its entire community.

This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information the College may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data via an online or paper form.

This Privacy Notice also applies in addition to the College’s other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:

  • any contract between the College and its staff or the parents of pupils;
  • the College's policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • the College’s CCTV and/or biometrics policy;
  • the College’s retention of records policy;
  • the College's safeguarding, pastoral, or health and safety policies, including as to how concerns or incidents are recorded; and
  • the College's IT policies, including its Acceptable Use policy, E-safety policy, WiFi policy, Remote Working policy and Bring Your Own Device policy.

Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of the College (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) should also be aware of and comply with this Privacy Notice, which also provides further information about how personal data about those individuals will be used.

Responsibility for Data Protection:

The College has appointed the Bursar as its Data and Systems Manager, who will deal with all requests and enquiries concerning the College’s use of personal data. The Bursar will endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law.

Why The College needs to Process Personal Data

In order to carry out its ordinary duties to Pupils, Parents and Staff, the College may process a wide range of personal data about individuals (including current, past and prospective ) as part of its daily operation.

Some of this activity the College will need to carry out in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its parents of its pupils.

Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with the College’s legitimate interests, or the legitimate interests of another, provided that these are not outweighed by the impact on individuals, and provided it does not involve special or sensitive types of data.

The College expects that the following uses may fall within that category of its (or its community’s) “legitimate interests”:

  • For the purposes of pupil selection (and to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents);
  • To provide education services, including musical education, physical training or spiritual development, career services, and extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils' progress and educational needs;
  • Maintaining relationships with alumni and the College community, including marketing or fundraising activity;
  • For the purposes of donor due diligence and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background
  • For the purpose of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by the law (such as diversity or gender pay gap analysis and taxation records;
  • To enable relevant authorities to monitor the College's performance and to intervene or assist with incidents as appropriate;
  • To give and receive information and references about past, current and prospective pupils, including relating to outstanding fees or payment history, to/from any educational institution that the pupil attended or where it is proposed they attend; and to provide references to potential employers of past pupils;
  • To enable pupils to take part in national or other assessments, and to publish the results of public examinations or other achievements of pupils of the College;
  • To safeguard pupils' welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care;
  • To monitor (as appropriate) use of the College's IT and communications systems in accordance with the College's IT: acceptable use policy;
  • To make use of photographic images of pupils in College publications, on the College website and (where appropriate) on the College's social media channels in accordance with the College's policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • For security purposes, including CCTV in accordance with the College’s CCTV policy; and
  • Where otherwise reasonably necessary for the College's purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the College.

In addition, the College may need to process special category personal data (concerning health, ethnicity, religion, biometrics or sexual life) or criminal records information (such as when carrying out DBS checks) in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including as regards safeguarding and employment, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. These reasons may include:

  • To safeguard pupils' welfare and provide appropriate pastoral (and where necessary, medical) care, and to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency, incident or accident, including by disclosing details of an individual's medical condition where it is in the individual's interests to do so: for example for medical advice, social services, insurance purposes or to organisers of College trips;
  • To provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
  • To provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs;
  • In connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, to give and receive information and references, welfare or pensions plans;
  • To run any of its systems that operate on biometric data, such as for security and other forms of pupil identification (lockers, lunch etc.); or
  • For legal and regulatory purposes (for example child protection, diversity monitoring and health and safety) and to comply with its legal obligations and duties of care.

Types of Personal Data Processed by the College:

  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers, date of birth, gender, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
  • Car details (about those who use our car parking facilities)
  • Bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents who pay fees to the College;
  • Where appropriate, information about individuals’ health and contact details for their next of kin;
  • past, present and prospective pupils' academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
  • references given or received by the College about pupils, and information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils; and
  • images of pupils (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in College activities, and images captured by the College's CCTV system (in accordance with the College's policy on taking, storing and using images of children);
  • For staff, details your name, address and contact details, terms and conditions of employment, including email address and telephone number, date of birth and gender; details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including start and end dates, with previous employers and with the organisation; information about your remuneration, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions or insurance cover; details of your bank account and national insurance number; information about your marital status, next of kin, dependants and emergency contacts; information about your nationality and entitlement to work in the UK; information about your criminal record; details of your schedule (days of work and working hours) and attendance at work; details of periods of leave taken by you, including holiday, sickness absence, family leave and sabbaticals, and the reasons for the leave; details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings issued to you and related correspondence; assessments of your performance, including appraisals, performance reviews and ratings, training you have participated in, performance improvement plans and related correspondence; information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which the organisation needs to make reasonable adjustments; references given or received by the College about staff and equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief.

How the College Collects Data

Generally, the College receives personal data from the individual directly (including, in the case of pupils, from their parents). This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication (such as email, telephone, or written assessments).

However, in some cases personal data may be supplied by third parties (for example another College, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources.

Who has Access to Personal Data and who the College shares this with

Occasionally, the College will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as professional advisers (lawyers and accountants) or relevant authorities (HMRC, Teachers’ Pensions, police or the local authority).

For the most part, personal data collected by the College will remain within the College, and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of:

  • medical records held and accessed only by the College’s Nurse and appropriate medical staff under his/her supervision, or otherwise in accordance with express consent; and
  • pastoral or safeguarding files.

However, a certain amount of any pupil’s SEN, pastoral or safeguarding relevant information may, on occasions, need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires on a need to know basis.

Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the College is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance (including Keeping Children Safe in Education) to record and/or report incidents and concerns that arise or which are reported to it, in some cases regardless of whether they are proven, if they meet a certain threshold of seriousness in their nature or regularity. This may include file notes on personnel or safeguarding files, and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the LADO or police. For further information about this, please view the College’s Safeguarding Policy.

The College will also record low-level concerns that do not necessarily meet statutory thresholds, including pastoral information about pupils. Safeguarding software is used by the College to record and track concerns about pupils’ well-being, as well as pupil and staff activity on the College’s intranet and when using Chromebooks.

Finally, in accordance with Data Protection Law, some of the College’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, web developers or cloud storage providers. This is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the College’s specific directions.

How long we keep Personal Data

The College will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep it for a legitimate and lawful reason. Typically, the legal recommendation for how long to keep ordinary staff and pupil personnel files is up to 7 years following departure from the College. However, incident reports and safeguarding files will need to be kept much longer, in accordance with specific legal requirements. If you have any specific queries about how this policy is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact the Bursar. However, please bear in mind that the College may have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some data. Please refer to the College’s Retention of Records Policy for the full details.

Keeping in touch and Supporting The College

The College [and/or any relevant other organisation] will use the contact details of parents, alumni and other members of the College community to keep them updated about the activities of the College, or alumni and parent events of interest, including by sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the College may also:

  • Share personal data about parents and/or alumni, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the College community, such as the Old Birkfeldians, the College’s PTA
  • Contact parents and/or alumni [(including via the organisations above)] by post and email in order to promote and raise funds for the College and, where appropriate, other worthy causes;
  • Collect information from publicly available sources about parents' and former pupils' occupation and activities, in order to maximise the College's fundraising potential.

Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the Bursar in writing. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the College may need nonetheless to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).

Your Rights

Individuals have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand personal data about them held by the College, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or for the College to stop processing it, but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.

Any individual wishing to access or amend their personal data, or wishing it to be transferred to another person or organisation, or who has some other objection to how their personal data is used, should put their request in writing to the College’s Bursar.

The College will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within statutory time-limits, which is one month in the case of requests for access to information. The College will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information. If the request is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the College may ask you to reconsider or charge a proportionate fee, but only where Data Protection Law allows it.

You should be aware that certain data is exempt from the right of access. This may include information which identifies other individuals, or information which is subject to legal professional privilege. The College is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (though examiners' comments may fall to be disclosed), nor any confidential reference given by the College for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.

Pupil Rights

Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the College, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making (see section Whose Rights below). Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the information in question is always considered to be the child’s att law.

A pupil of any age, may ask a parent or other representative, to make a subject access request on his/her behalf. Moreover (if of sufficient age) their consent or authority may need to be sought by the parent making such a request. Pupils in the Senior School aged 13 and above are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested, including any relevant circumstances at home. Slightly younger children may however be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision.

All information requests from, or on behalf of, pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case by case basis.


Where the College is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time (subject to similar age considerations as above). Please be aware however, that the College may have another lawful reason to process the personal data in question even without your consent.

That reason will usually have been asserted under this Privacy Notice, or may otherwise exist under some form of contract or agreement with the individual (e.g. an employment or parent contract, or because a purchase of goods, services or membership of an organisation such as an alumni or parents' association has been requested).

Whose Rights?

The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the College will often rely on parental consent to process personal data relating to pupils (if consent is required) unless, given the nature of the processing in question, and the pupil's age and understanding, it is more appropriate to rely on the pupil's consent.

Parents should be aware that in such situations they may not be consulted, depending on the interests of the child, the parents’ rights at law or under their contract, and all the circumstances.

In general, the College will assume that pupils’ consent is not required for ordinary disclosure of their personal data to their parents, e.g. for the purposes of keeping parents informed about the pupil's activities, progress and behaviour, and in the interests of the pupil's welfare, unless, in the College's opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise.

However, where a pupil seeks to raise concerns confidentially with a member of staff and expressly withholds their agreement to their personal data being disclosed to their parents, the College may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the College's opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise; for example where the College believes disclosure will be in the best interests of the pupil or other pupils, or if required by law.

Pupils are required to respect the personal data and privacy of others, and to comply with the College's IT, acceptable use policy and the College rules. Staff are under professional duties to do the same covered under the relevant staff policy and staff handbook.

Data Accuracy And Security

The College will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up to date and accurate as possible. Individuals must notify the Bursar of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them.

An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate or information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law): please see above for details of why the College may need to process your data, of who you may contact if you disagree.

The College will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to College systems. All staff and governors will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.

This Policy

The College will update this Privacy Notice from time to time. Any substantial changes that affect individual’s rights will be provided to them directly as far as is reasonably practicable.

Queries and Complaints

Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the Bursar at

If an individual believes that the College has not complied with this policy, or has acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise the College’s Complaints or Grievance procedure and should also notify the Bursar. The complainant can also make a referral to, or lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with the College before involving the regulator.


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