Personal information charter

Our personal information charter contains the standards you can expect from DfE when we ask for and hold your personal information.


We collect personal information from individuals in order to carry out our functions.

Your privacy

If we ask for your personal information, we’ll:

  • tell you the reasons why we’re asking for it
  • only ask for the information we need
  • make sure we don’t keep it for longer than necessary
  • protect it and make sure only the appropriate people have access to it
  • let you know if we’ll share it with other organisations
  • keep it up to date where necessary and let you know if you need to notify us about changes to your circumstances
  • consider privacy risks when we’re planning to change the way we use or hold it
  • train our staff to ensure we properly use and protect it

How to find out what personal information we hold about you

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, you’re entitled to ask us:

  • if we’re processing your personal data
  • to give you a description of the data we hold about you, the reasons why we’re holding it and any recipient we may disclose it to (eg Ofsted)
  • for a copy of your personal data and any details of its source

You’re also entitled to ask us to change the information we hold about you, if it is wrong.

If you want to see your personal data, you should make a ‘subject access request’. If you want more information about how we process your personal data, contact us using the question option on our contact form and select ‘other’.

Please be as specific as you can about the information you’re asking us about. If possible, state which part of the department is holding the information and why.

Before we can consider your request, we’ll need to check your identity and your right to access the information you’re requesting. This means we may ask you to supply us with a copy of the identification pages of your current passport or photo driving licence. We may also ask you for proof of your current address.

How we process your personal data

Our trained staff will protect your information. Staff who handle large volumes of personal data receive in-depth training every year.

We are changing the way we process your personal data relating to financial transactions when we interact with you. Our services provider Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL) may process some of this data offshore. For more information see Personal data processing: fair processing notice.

When we share personal information

We may share information we hold about you with certain organisations, where the law allows it or we have a legal obligation to do so.

There may be some circumstances where we’ll need to share information about you with others without your consent. For example, this might be to prevent or detect a crime, or to produce anonymised statistics for research purposes. In all cases, we’ll comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.