Applies to England, Northern Ireland and Wales
To comply with data protection legislation, schools, colleges, local authorities, and training sector organisations are responsible for issuing a copy of this privacy notice to learners and/or parents/guardians. This notice summarises the information held on record about them, why it is held and the third parties with whom the data may be shared.
Privacy notice for pupils, students, learners, and trainees
The information you supply is used by the Learning Records Service (LRS). The LRS issues Unique Learner Numbers (ULN) and creates Personal Learning Records across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and is operated by the Department for Education (DfE) in England. This privacy notice explains how we use your personal information. For the purposes of relevant data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for personal information processed.
Who we are?
The LRS supports the DfE by collecting learner information from training providers and awarding organisations. For the purposes of relevant data protection legislations, the DfE is the data controller for personal information we process.
How we will use your information
We receive your personal data from:
- schools, colleges, local authorities, and training/learning providers
- accredited achievement data supplied by awarding organisations
The aims of LRS are to:
- create a trusted and verified record of learning for citizen across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland
- enable education organisations to access these records when required to support individuals with enrolment to education and careers advice, ensuring they get access to the correct education and government funding
- issue you with a Unique Learner Number (ULN)
- create your Personal Learning Record (PLR)
- collect entries and results data that is used to create national statistical publications
The nature of your personal data that LRS will process
The categories of personal data that can be processed in LRS includes:
- personal contact details
- data related to an individual’s learning
- data and information about your learning, including courses and qualifications you are taking or have taken
To ensure that our records are accurate, it may be necessary for training providers to collect further personal information from you. This information will be used to identify the correct learner where their personal information is similar to other learners (e.g. name(s) and date of birth):
- where further information is required to distinguish between learners, the following personal information is deemed as mandatory:
- last known post code
- date of birth
Why our use of your personal data is lawful
For our use of your personal data to be lawful, we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation. For LRS, the relevant conditions are:
- Article 6(1)(e) UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), to perform a public task as part of our function as a department
We also rely on legitimate interests, where we may need to collect additional personal information, to distinguish you from another individual. This is:
- Article 6(1)(f) of the UK General Data Protection Regulations
Who we will make your personal data available to
We sometimes need to make personal data available to other organisations. These might include contracted partners (who we have employed to process your personal data on our behalf) and/or other organisations (with whom we need to share your personal data for specific purposes).
Where we need to share your personal data with others, we ensure that this data sharing complies with data protection legislation. For LRS we share your personal data with the following:
- schools, colleges, local authorities, and training/learning providers when you enrol onto a course
- awarding bodies to record achievement/attainment information such as exam or course grades
- permitted organisations such as Federation for Industry Skills & Standards (FISSS) and Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) to record or verify individual’s qualifications
How long we will keep your personal data
The PLR is a lifetime record of achievement for all learners.
All data in LRS will be retained until a learner is 80 years old and has not engaged with a learning provider for 7 years.
Your data protection rights
You have specific rights under data protection law. You can:
Request a copy of all information relating to you held by the DfE. You can do this by making a Subject Access Request using the DfE Contact Form.
DfE processes your personal information on LRS in the exercise of its official authority under the Education Act 2011 and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children & Learning Act 2009. This allows us to ensure that training providers are claiming for the correct government funding, safeguard public money and prevent fraud.
More information about how the DfE handles personal information is published in the DfE Personal Information Charter. If you need to contact us regarding any of the above, please do so via the DfE site at DfE - Contact Us. If you are unable to use the online contact form, you can write to us at the address provided under Contact Information below.
Further information about your data protection rights appears on the Information Commissioner’s website at Information Commissioners Office - Individual Rights
We may need to update this privacy notice periodically, so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated on 27 November 2023.