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Westhoughton High School is very active in our GDPR compliance. We are committed to ensuring we do the right thing for our Governors, our families, our students, our staff and the third parties we work with. Verified by a national law firm, we are focussed on ensuring our processes can be evidenced to demonstrate compliance.

We know that complete GDPR compliance can only be achieved through a collaborative and transparent approach and we also want to ensure that this is comprehensive and complete.

We have been working on the following:

  • Identification of a Data Protection Officer
  • Data mapping and Data Asset Register
  • Embedding data privacy into all our processes
  • Information security risk
  • Third party risk and our data partners
  • Responding to individual complaints and data subject access requests (DSARs)
  • Data Privacy Breach procedures
  • Ongoing monitoring

GDPR Roll Out

  • We have started to roll out new GDPR privacy notices.
  • We have published a new GDPR/Data Protection Policy
  • We will ensure that all processing of data done in school complies with GDPR

There are six lawful processing conditions:

  • Compliance with a legal obligation
  • Performance of a contract
  • Legitimate interest
  • Public interest
  • Vital interest
  • Consent

Consent is changing to be more explicit/transparent so at the point of data collection, the individual will need to be informed exactly how their data will be used and who it will be shared with.

Governance Structure and Data Protection Officer

Data privacy is discussed regularly at each Governing Body meeting and regularly reviewed by senior leaders within school.

Westhoughton High School’s named Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Gillian Bailey (School Business Manager) and the DPO Link Governor is Andrew Brown.

Gillian will lead the teams in school, helping embed data privacy into operations whilst also monitoring activity on an ongoing basis. Andrew will oversee this work and act as an auditor and critical friend. There will be regular training for all staff to ensure a deeper level of understanding, allowing them to identify any risks and stop them from happening.

Data Mapping and Data Asset Register

We have completed our data mapping exercise and this document will be regularly revised and revisited. We know what data we have, where it is held, how we access it, the classification of the data, records for transfer and flow charts to show how it moves between systems and processes.

A lot of information that already exists is held across a number of systems, so we have implemented a Data Asset Register, which will capture all data processing, aiding transparency and supporting the tight controls which are required to ensure compliance.

Embedding Data Privacy into day to day life of the school – Training and Awareness

We have launched an internal initiative called Be compliant. This ongoing program has 4 key principles to ensure our team members do the right thing:

  • We will ensure we know what we can do with data, and if unsure, we’ll ask
  • We will be clear about how we’re going to use data
  • We will ensure we protect the data we hold/process
  • We will ensure compliance, both individually and as a team

Underpinning this is not only communication, but clear policies and procedures, plus mandatory training for all staff.

Information Security Risk

We have robust systems in place to manage our school network.

This includes technical security measures (e.g. intrusion, detection, firewalls, monitoring), encryption of personal data, restricted access to personal data, protection of our physical premises and hard assets, maintaining security measures for our staff, a data-loss prevention strategy and regular testing of our security systems.

Third Party Risk and our Data Partners

Due diligence prior to working with a third party is key to ensure data has been gathered lawfully, and to ensure any data we share will be secure. If any third party partners need to comply with GDPR, we’ll ensure they do.

Responding to individual complaints and data subject access requests (DSARs)

We already has a very robust process for dealing with consumer queries and subject access requests. This is a requirement under the Data Protection Act, therefore we are confident in our processes, which are tried/tested and we continually review for improvement. The key difference under GDPR is the timescale for response to a DSAR is reduced from 40 days to 30 days, which we do not foresee as an issue.

Data Privacy Breach Management Program

We have an effective data privacy incident and breach management plan, which we will continue to review and enhance as required.

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about breach reporting, therefore we have really welcomed the ICO’s blog on this topic.

Extract from the blog:

“Under the GDPR there is a requirement for organisations to report a personal data breach that affects people’s rights and freedoms, without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it.

Organisations will have to provide certain details when reporting, but the GDPR says that where the organisation doesn’t have all the details available, more can be provided later. The ICO will not expect to receive comprehensive reports at the outset of the discovery or detection of an incident – but we will want to know the potential scope and the cause of the breach, mitigation actions you plan to take, and how you plan to address the problem.”

The GDPR does not provide an explicit time limit within which the processor must alert the controller, except that it must do so “without undue delay”. Therefore, WP29 recommends an immediate notification by the processor to the controller, with further information about the breach provided in phases as information becomes available. This is important in order to help the controller to meet the requirement of notification to the supervisory authority within 72 hours.

Our position is, the regulation states without “undue delay”, therefore this is what we will abide by. However, we recognise that the clock will only start ticking when we become aware there has been an incident.

Ongoing Monitoring

Monitoring covers many areas at Westhoughton High School.

Internally we conduct audits and ad-hoc walk-throughs to make sure we are doing the right thing. A weekly regulatory monitoring report is issued to ensure we identify (and then action) privacy compliance requirements, such as changes in the law or best practice.

Gillian Bailey
Oct 2022