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As you may know, new data protection regulations (GDPR) come into force from 25th May 2018. These strengthen requirements around data security and will apply to all schools, academies and education settings
HCC have already published some guidance to support schools in this area:
In addition to this guidance, HCC and HfL have been working together to identify support to enable you to meet these new requirements is a measured and supported manner. Whilst there are a large number of private providers mailing schools about this area offering a range of services, these are often needlessly expensive. We believe that in reality, the requirements are not overly complex or onerous for schools. We are therefore currently developing a range of support mechanisms for schools which will enable you to train your staff (inc headteacher briefings, Data Protection Officer (DPO) training and whole staff training) which will be available in the Spring term. We are also developing a range of materials and templates to help schools meet the new regulations via an online toolkit.
Headteacher forums have asked us to mail headteacher email accounts with updates about support and requirements each term. However, we are also creating a mailing list for those who would like regular updates about GDPR and operational management of the new regulations. If you would like to register for these, or would like to forward this email for another staff member to register, please send your email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The PowerPoint provides an overview of GDPR and support being developed for your school. Please do contact us if you have further questions about this or any other area of HfL’s Business Services.
GDPR Update – January 2018
Head Teachers and school business managers are alerted that under GDPR Biometric data used for identification purposes is classified as Sensitive Personal Data rather than Personal Data. Schools already using biometric systems to manage processes such as lunch payments and library borrowing are reminded that they should check they have explicit consent from a parent and that parents or pupils who refuse consent should have their wishes respected.
Support for schools
GDPR Toolkit NEW
The new GDPR Toolkit from Herts for Learning is now available online to purchase. This toolkit is designed to help Data Protection Officers (DPOs) in educational settings to carry out their role and contains supporting guidance, advice and materials to help schools achieve GDPR compliance and drive the right data protection culture throughout the organisation. This toolkit will evolve in the light of feedback from users and best practice in educational settings and provide support and guidance for your staff throughout the period of your subscription. Visit the HfL website: For full details and how to purchase the toolkit
General Data Protection Regulation/ new UK Data Protection Law : a brief guide for schools
In-School Data Protection Awareness Training
Herts for Learning offers in-school, all-staff training on basic data protection and cyber security. This 90-minute staff meeting is a non-specialist, non-technical information and awareness session aimed at any member of staff that has access to personal data.
We discuss what constitutes personal data and the behaviours we need to adopt in order to protect it. The session provides the general information needed by all staff, but not the higher level, specialist training that may be required for a Data Protection Officer role. Similarly, the session does not cover the technical aspects of keeping a network secure, etc. and no information delivered in the session should be considered legal advice.
During the 90-minute session, we cover, for example:
Schools that book the session will receive, electronically, a written summary of the advice given, an A3 poster to print / display and a certificate to evidence that the training has taken place.
To find out more or book a session, please contact Chris Carter, eDevelopments Adviser, at email@example.com
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:
The DfE have updated the suggested privacy notices for schools and local authorities to issue to staff, parents and pupils about the collection of data. This page will be updated when further guidance and advice is available. The suggested text from the DfE is available below. The HfL Toolkit which will be available in the second half of the Spring Term will contain Privacy Notices versions written in plain English/transparency and age/audience relevant.
The DfE have updated the suggested privacy notices for schools and local authorities to issue to staff, parents and pupils about the collection of data. This page will be updated when further guidance and advice is available.
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