Legal and Privacy
We have created this Privacy Notice in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. Data Protection Law gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. You are encouraged to read this text and understand the school’s obligations to its entire community.
This notice explains how Westminster Great School and Westminster Under School (“the school”, “we” and “our”) uses (“processes”) personal data we collect about our prospective, current and former pupils, their parents/guardians, our employees, and other individuals associated with the school (“you” and “your”). It applies alongside any other information we may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data via an online or paper form. It also applies in addition to other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:
- any contract between the School and its staff or the parents of pupils;
- the School’s CCTV policy;
- the School’s Safeguarding and Health and Safety policies;
- the School’s IT policies, including its Acceptable Use policy; and
- the School’s Data Protection policy, Records Management policy and Records Retention 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 the school’s Data Protection policy, which provides further information about how personal data will be used.
More detailed privacy notices for parents and pupils, employees are available. The School’s Development Office has produced a separate Privacy Notice which covers its activities.
This Privacy Notice was updated on 14th May 2018. We will publish on our website any changes we make and notify you by other communication channels where appropriate.
- Our websites
- What types of personal data does the school use?
- How does the school obtain my personal data?
- Why does the school use personal data?
- Who else sees my personal data?
- How long do you keep personal data?
- Responsibility for Data Protection
- Your rights
- Data accuracy and security
- Queries and complaints
Should you wish to contact us, you will be asked to submit some personal information (e.g. your name and email address). By entering your details in the fields requested, you enable us to provide you with information you require. Your message and details may be passed on to colleagues who are better able to answer your questions. Except as might be required by law, we do not share this information with external bodies. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
What types of personal data does the school use?
This will include by way of example:
- names, 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 biometrics policy.
- bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents who pay fees to 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.
How does the school obtain my personal 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).
However 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.
Why does the school use personal data?
We need to use personal data for the school to run efficiently, safely and to let others know what we do here. 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 extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils’ progress and educational needs;
- Maintaining relationships with alumni and the school community, including direct marketing or fundraising activity;
- For the purposes of donor due diligence, and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background and relevant interests;
- Collect information from publicly available sources about parents’ and former pupils’ occupation and activities, in order to maximise the school’s fundraising potential.
- 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; we will not publish photographs of individuals alongside their names without the agreement of the appropriate individual;
- For security purposes, including CCTV in accordance with the school’s 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;
- To provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs;
- In connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, welfare, union membership or pension plans;
- To run systems that operate on biometric data, including registration and library issuing;
- 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.
Who else sees my personal data?
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 doctor and appropriate medical staff under her 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 Safeguarding Policy.
Occasionally, the school will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as:
- professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers and accountants);
- government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, police or the local authority); and
- appropriate regulatory bodies (e.g. the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the Charity Commission or the Information Commissioner).
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, 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 school’s specific directions.
How long do you 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. 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 the Bursar. 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. In particular, 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”).
Records considered to be of historic value are kept in the School’s archive indefinitely. Personal data concerning living individuals, which is not in the public domain, is unavailable to researchers, unless the subject of the information provides written permission.
Responsibility for Data Protection
The School’s Bursar has responsibility for Data Protection. He handles requests and enquiries concerning the school’s uses of your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavours to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with the school’s Data Protection policy and Data Protection Law. You can contact the Bursar, Chris Silcock, by emailing email@example.com
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 Bursar.
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 his/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 at the Great School 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. Under School pupils may however be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision, depending on the child and the circumstances.
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, but they 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.
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 are: using biometrics for registration, certain types of uses of images, certain types of fundraising activity. 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 alumni 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.
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 must please notify the school 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 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.
Queries and complaints
Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the Bursar. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 procedure and should also notify the Bursar. 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.