Personal information charter
Our personal information charter contains the standards you can expect from the Department for Education when we ask for and hold your personal information.
The Department for Education collects personal information from individuals in order to carry out our responsibilities.
We know how important it is to protect your privacy and to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. If we ask for your personal information we will:
- tell you the reasons why we are asking for your information
- only ask for the details we need and make sure we don’t keep them for longer than necessary
- protect your information and make sure only the appropriate people can access it
- let you know if you can refuse to give us your personal information
- let you know if we will 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 are planning to change the way we use or hold personal information
- train our staff to ensure your personal information is used and protected properly
How to find out what personal information we hold about you
You can find out about the personal information we hold about you by making a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998. You are entitled to:
- information about whether the department is processing your personal data
- a description of the data we hold about you, the reasons why we are holding it and details of the recipients or types of recipients to whom it may be disclosed (eg Ofsted)
- a copy of your personal data and any details of the source of the data
Please be as specific as you can about the information you want, and, if it isn’t obvious, explain why you expect us to hold your personal information. To make a subject access request or make a complaint about the way your data has been handled, you may contact the relevant part of the department or its agencies. Contact details are available on the Department for Education’s website .
You are also entitled to ask us to correct any mistakes.
Before we can act on your request, you will need to supply proof of your identity, such as a photocopy of the identification pages of your current passport or current photo driving licence.
When we share information
We may give or share information with certain other organisations where the law allows it or says we have to.
There are some circumstances where we may pass on your information without telling you, for example to prevent or detect crime or to produce anonymised statistics. In all cases – whether data is shared internally or externally – we will comply with the law, including the Data Protection Act.
Opening an independent school in Europe
We are legally obliged to share the personal information of anyone seeking to open an independent school in another country within the European Economic Area if the relevant authorities in that country provide a justification for requesting this information.
We will notify you if we supply other authorities with sensitive information about you.
All our staff receive annual training in protecting information. Staff who handle large volumes of personal data receive in-depth training every year.
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at: