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If you have any DPA or FOI queries please contact the Schools Legal Helpline - 01992 555520 (comnet - 25520)
The DfE have produced guidance for local authorities, school leaders, staff and governing bodies on cloud software services. It outlines how schools need to consider data security when moving services and sensitive information to the internet-based facilities of cloud computing (the cloud).
August 2016 Updated EU-U.S. Privacy Shield
Schools are reminded that the data protection policy of third party data handlers (school data services for example) should always be checked for suitability according to the sensitivity of the data concerned. More information on the status of this new protection measure can be found at the foot of the document in this ICO link.
Here is the original European Commission press release.
Security of Confidential / Personal Data - Electronic and Paper
It is critical that schools consider the safety of confidential / personal data removed from a school site (electronic and paper). Ensuring that ALL staff are aware of how to handle sensitive or personal information and their responsibilities when accessing data is vital and this section provides guidance on staff training and recommendations.
If you are considering applying this method of security to any computer devices in your school which you think may be taken off-site:
Warning – keep your encryption password in a safe place. Access to encrypted drives and ‘containers’ is controlled by password - should you loose it you will NOT be able to access your data!
Password Security and Password storage – why it’s not as simple as 123…
Latest advice regarding password security from the Information Commissioner’s Office can be found here
Keeping Parents informed: What schools need to consider when using email
Latest advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office can be found here
School Policy in Brief
Also see the 'Model School Policy for ICT Acceptable Use Incorporating eSafety, Data Security & Disposal of ICT Equipment' in the esafety section:
Privacy Notices 2015/16 – there is no change to the notice for Primary Schools and schools with pupils aged 14 or under –
Versions of the Privacy Notices for Department for Education data collections are available below. The updated Privacy Notices will be for:
• Pupils in Schools, Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units and children in Early Year Settings
Schools do not have to reissue the Privacy Notices to existing pupils but must ensure that the updated version is available on the school's website and parents/carers are made aware of the updated version.
Privacy Notices 2017/18 – changes applicable for schools who have pupils aged 14 or over
Updated versions of the Privacy Notices for Department for Education data collections are now available below. The updated Privacy Notices will be for:
• Pupils in Schools, Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units
The core information in the Privacy Notice is largely unchanged. Some additional text has been included as recommended by the Skills Funding Agency but the context and meaning has not changed.
Schools do not have to reissue the Privacy Notices to existing pupils but must ensure that the updated version is available on the school's website and pupils/parents/carers are made aware of the updated version.
In order to ensure that all staff have been provided with an appropriate form of notice it will be necessary for schools to inform all current staff of the change to this Privacy Notice.
It will be every school’s responsibility to issue a Privacy Notice to all staff that commenced employment with your school after 01/04/15 onwards.
Schools need to make Staff aware of the changes to the Privacy Notice who were in employment with the school before this date of 01/04/15 (this could be via a copy being posted on the staff notice board and staff being made aware of its existence).
Please note: The Privacy notices are in line with the suggested text issued by the DfE but can include any additional information as appropriate. However, if you experience any difficulties with the external links or require further advice on how any organisation processes data please contact the organisation direct.
ICO Advice to Schools Regardng Data Protection and Freedom of Information
The Information Commissioner's Office have posted a video and further advice on the responsibilities of schools regarding Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information. The Information rights video is aimed at head teachers, managers and governors to help comply with their responsibilities to information rights in schools, colleges and universities.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has updated its advice on the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations Act.
Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations Act Guidance for Hertfordshire Schools Jan 2016
A new document has been produced by Hertfordshire County Council Information Governance Unit in conjunction with Herts for Learning. It is designed to help schools understand their responsibilities under Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). The document can be downloaded here:
The Records Management Toolkit for schools developed by the Information and Records Management Society can be downloaded from:
The ICO has updated their guidance for schools and provided greater guidance for nursery, primary and small schools.
Explanatory Notes for Model Publication Scheme for all schools including academies and free schools
Template Model Publication Scheme for Nursery, Primary and Small Schools
Guide to completing the Model Publication Scheme for Nursery, Primary and Small Schools