Who We Are
St Helen's School, Northwood (“the School”) is a leading independent girls’ day school and member of the Girls' Schools Association (GSA). The School provides an outstanding education for girls aged three to eighteen. Situated at the heart of Northwood in North London since its foundation in 1899, the School provides the opportunity for more than 1100 girls to excel academically, to fulfil their all-round potential and to acquire the skills, insight and confidence to become leaders in their fields, their professions and their communities.
The School is the Data Controller for the purposes of the relevant legislation (“Data Protection Law”), which includes both the General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679) and the UK Data Protection Act 2018, as well as potentially other relevant supporting legislation.
What This Privacy Notice is For
This policy is intended to provide information about how the School will use (or "process") personal data about individuals including: its current, past and prospective staff; its current, past and prospective pupils; and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this policy as "parents").
This information is provided because Data Protection Law gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. Staff, parents and pupils are all encouraged to read this Privacy Notice and understand the School’s obligations to its entire community.
This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information the School 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 School's other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:
any contract between the School and its staff or the parents of pupils;
the School's policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
the School’s CCTV policy;
the School’s retention of records policy;
the School's safeguarding, pastoral, or health and safety policies, including as to how concerns or incidents are recorded; and
the School's IT Acceptable Use policy.
Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of, the School (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) should also be aware of and comply with this Privacy Notice and the School's Data Protection policy for staff, which also provides further information about how personal data about those individuals will be used.
Responsibility for Data Protection
The School has appointed Mr Paul Gould as the Head of IT Systems who will deal with all requests and enquiries concerning the School’s uses of personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law.
The Head of IT Systems can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the School switchboard on 01923 843210.
Why the School Needs to Process Personal Data
In order to carry out its ordinary duties to staff, pupils and parents, the School needs to process a wide range of personal data about individuals (including current, past and prospective staff, pupils or parents) as part of its daily operation.
Some of this activity the School will need to carry out in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its staff, or parents of its pupils.
Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with the School’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 School expects that the following uses will 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 co-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils' progress and educational needs;
Maintaining relationships with alumnae and the School community, including direct marketing or fundraising activity;
For the purposes of donor due diligence and donor research, to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background and relevant interests;
For the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law (such as tax, diversity or gender pay gap analysis);
To enable relevant authorities to monitor the School'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 School;
To safeguard pupils' welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care;
To monitor (as appropriate) use of the School's IT and communications systems in accordance with the School's IT Acceptable Use policy;
To make use of photographic images of pupils in School publications, on the School website and (where appropriate) on the School's social media channels in accordance with the School's policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
For security purposes, including biometrics and CCTV in accordance with the School’s
Biometric Notice (see Appendix 1) and CCTV Policy;
To carry out or cooperate with any School or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process; and
Where otherwise reasonably necessary for the School's purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the School.
In addition, the School will on occasion 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 will 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 or other relevant information where it is in the individual's interests to do so: for example for medical advice, for social protection, safeguarding, and cooperation with police or social services, for insurance purposes or to caterers or organisers of School trips who need to be made aware of dietary or medical needs;
To provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
In connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, welfare, union membership or pension plans;
To run any of its systems that operate on biometric data, such as for security and other forms of pupil identification (lunch, cashless catering etc.);
As part of any School or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process that involves such data, for example if there are SEN, health or safeguarding elements; 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 School
This will include by way of example:
names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
car details (about those who use our car parking facilities);
biometric information, which will be collected and used by the School in accordance with the School's Biometric Notice.
bank details, employment histories, donor records and other financial information, e.g. about parents who pay fees to the School or those that support the School;
past, present and prospective pupils' academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
personnel files, including in connection with academics, employment or safeguarding;
where appropriate, information about individuals' health and welfare, and contact details for their next of kin;
references given or received by the School about pupils, and relevant information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils;
correspondence with and concerning staff, pupils and parents past and present; and
images of pupils (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in School activities, and images captured by the School's CCTV system (in accordance with the School's policy on taking, storing and using images of children);
How the School Collects Data
Generally, the School 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 or written assessments).
In some cases personal data will be supplied by third parties (for example another School, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources.
Who Has Access to Personal Data and Who the School Shares It With
Occasionally, the School will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as:
professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, police or the local authority); and
appropriate regulatory bodies (e.g. NCTL, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the Charity Commission or the Information Commissioner).
third party and hosted service providers (e.g. Microsoft Office 365, My School Portal, School Post, Camp Beaumont, Century Technology or other relevant providers.
Where data is shared with third parties, robust data sharing agreements and measures will put in place to ensure the data is only used for the purposes of supporting School activities.
For the most part, personal data collected by the School will remain within the School, 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 School Nurses and appropriate staff under their supervision, or otherwise in accordance with express consent; and
pastoral or safeguarding files.
However, a certain amount of any SEN pupil’s relevant information will need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires.
Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the School is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance (including Keeping Children Safe in Education) to record or report incidents and concerns that arise or 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 is likely to 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
School’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
In support of the School’s safeguarding measures, the School uses software to monitor pupils and staff use of the internet and some communications. This is an anonymous process that triggers an alert should certain key phrases or words be used to allow further investigation as required; it does not involve the routine interception of day-to-day communications.
Finally, in accordance with Data Protection Law, some of the School’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, caterers, payroll providers, web developers, fundraising consultants or cloud storage providers. This is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the School’s specific directions.
How Long We Keep Personal Data
The School will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep 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 School. 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 our retention policy is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact Mr Paul Gould, Head of IT Systems, via email@example.com. However, please bear in mind that the School will often have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such request.
A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes and even where you have requested we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of the fact in order to fulfil your wishes (called a "suppression record").
Keeping In Touch and Supporting the School
The School will use the contact details of parents, alumnae and other members of the school community to keep them updated about the activities of the School, or alumnae and parent events of interest, including by sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the School will also:
Share personal data about parents and/or alumnae, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the school community, such as the PTA or the Old Girls’ Club.
Contact parents and/or alumnae (including via the organisations above) by post, telephone and email in order to promote and raise funds for the School 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 School's fundraising potential.
Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the Development Office on 01923 843327 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the School is nonetheless likely to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).
Rights of access, etc.
Individuals have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand personal data about them held by the School, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or have it transferred to others, or for the School 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 Head of IT Systems via email@example.com.
The School 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 School will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information. If the request for information is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the School may ask you to reconsider, or require a proportionate fee (but only where Data Protection Law allows it).
Requests that cannot be fulfilled
You should be aware that the right of access is limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt from the right of access. This will include information which identifies other individuals (and parents need to be aware this may include their own children, in certain limited situations – please see further below), or information which is subject to legal privilege (for example legal advice given to or sought by the School, or documents prepared in connection with a legal action).
The School is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (or other information consisting solely of pupil test answers), provide examination or other test marks ahead of any ordinary publication, nor share any confidential reference given by the School itself for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.
You may have heard of the "right to be forgotten". However, we will sometimes have compelling reasons to refuse specific requests to amend, delete or stop processing your (or your child's) personal data: for example, a legal requirement, or where it falls within a legitimate interest identified in this Privacy Notice. All such requests will be considered on their own merits.
Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the School, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making (see section Whose Rights? below). A pupil of any age may ask a parent or other representative to make a subject access request on her behalf.
Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the law still considers the information in question to be the child’s: for older pupils, the parent making the request may need to evidence their child's authority for the specific request.
Pupils 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, depending on the child and the circumstances.
Parental requests, etc.
It should be clearly understood that the rules on subject access are not the sole basis on which information requests are handled. Parents may not have a statutory right to information, butthey and others will often have a legitimate interest or expectation in receiving certain information about pupils without their consent. The School may consider there are lawful grounds for sharing with or without reference to that pupil.
Parents will in general receive educational and pastoral updates about their children, in accordance with the Parent Contract. Where parents are separated, the school will in most cases aim to provide the same information to each person with parental responsibility, but may need to factor in all the circumstances including the express wishes of the child.
All information requests from, on behalf of, or concerning pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case by case basis.
Where the School 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). Examples where we do rely on consent include: biometrics and certain types of uses of images. Please be aware however that the School may not be relying on consent but 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 alumnae or parents' association has been requested).
The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the School will often rely on parental authority or notice for the necessary ways it processes personal data relating to pupils – for example, under the parent contract, or via a form. Parents and pupils should be aware that this is not necessarily the same as the School relying on strict consent (see section on Consent above).
Where consent is required, it may in some cases be necessary or appropriate – given the nature of the processing in question, and the pupil's age and understanding – to seek 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 School 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. That is unless, in the School'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 School may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the School's opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise; for example where the School 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 School's IT Acceptable Use and Pupil Behaviour policies. Staff are under professional duties to do the same covered under the relevant staff policy.
Data Accuracy and Security
The School will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up to date and accurate as possible. Individuals should notify the Registrar (for current pupils and parents) via firstname.lastname@example.org or the Development Office (for former pupils, parents and staff) via email@example.com of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them. Current staff should inform the HR Manager of any changes to their details.
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 School may need to process your data, of who you may contact if you disagree.
The School 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 school systems. All staff and governors will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.
The School will update this Privacy Notice from time to time. Any substantial changes that affect your rights will be provided to you directly as far as is reasonably practicable.
Queries and Complaints
Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the Head of IT Systems using the contact details provided on page 3 of this Policy.
If an individual believes that the School has not complied with this policy or acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise the School’s complaints or grievance procedure and should also notify the Head of IT Systems. You 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 School before involving the regulator.
Date: July 2020
Effective date of the policy: 1st September 2020
Date of Next Review: July 2021
Status: Complies with the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679)
Appendix 1 – Biometric Notice
NOTIFICATION OF INTENTION TO PROCESS PUPILS’ BIOMETRIC INFORMATION
(SENIOR SCHOOL PUPILS ONLY)
The School uses information about your child as part of an automated (i.e. electronically-operated) recognition system. This is for the purposes of paying for food in the tuck shop or at vending machines and, for 6th Form only, monitoring attendance. The purposes may be expanded in due course to include borrowing from the library, accessing school printers and gaining access to secure areas around the site. The information from your child that we wish to use is referred to as ‘biometric information’ (see next paragraph). Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (sections 26 to 28), we are required to notify each parent of a child and obtain the written consent of at least one parent before being able to use a child’s biometric information for an automated system.
Biometric information and how it will be used
Biometric information is information about a person’s physical or behavioural characteristics that can be used to identify them, for example, information from their fingerprint. The School would like to take and use information from your child’s fingerprint and use this information for paying for food in the tuck shop or at vending machines and, for 6th Form only, monitoring attendance.
The information will be used as part of an automated biometric recognition system. This system will take measurements of your child’s fingerprint and convert these measurements into a template to be stored on the system. An image of your child’s fingerprint is not stored. The template (i.e. measurements taking from your child’s fingerprint) is what will be used to permit your child to access services.
You should note that the law places specific requirements on schools when using personal information, such as biometric information, about pupils for the purposes of an automated biometric recognition system. For example:
the School cannot use the information for any purpose other than those for which it was originally obtained and made known to the parent(s) (i.e. as stated above);
the School must ensure that the information is stored securely;
the School must tell you what it intends to do with the information;
unless the law allows it, the School cannot disclose personal information to another person/body.
Providing your consent/objecting
As stated above, in order to be able to use your child’s biometric information, the written consent of at least one parent is required. However, consent given by one parent will be overridden if the other parent objects in writing to the use of their child’s biometric information. Similarly, if your child objects to this, the School cannot collect or use her biometric information for inclusion on the automated recognition system.
You can also object to the proposed processing of your child’s biometric information at a later stage or withdraw any consent you have previously given. This means that, if you give consent but later change your mind, you can withdraw this consent. Please note that any consent, withdrawal of consent or objection from a parent must be in writing.
Even if you have consented, your child can object or refuse at any time to their biometric information being taken/used. Their objection does not need to be in writing. We would appreciate it if you could discuss this with your child and explain to them that they can object to this if they wish.
The School is also happy to answer any questions you or your child may have and these should be directed to the Head of IT Systems in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not wish your child’s biometric information to be processed by the school, or your child objects to such processing, the law says that we must provide reasonable alternative arrangements for children who are not going to use the automated system for paying for food in the tuck shop, at vending machines or monitoring attendance.
Parents will be invited to give consent to the processing of your child’s biometric information through the signing of the appropriate consent form on their child’s entry to Senior School or 6th Form.
Please note that when your child leaves the School, or if for some other reason she ceases to use the biometric system, her biometric data will be securely deleted.