DfE Children in need and looked after

How we use children in need and children looked after information in regards to education – Privacy Notice

Why we collect and use this information?

Lancashire County Council collects and processors education data regarding children in need and looked after children to ensure the following.

  • They are receiving the appropriate support
  • Their progress is monitored
  • They are being provided with pastoral care
  • To assess the quality of our service provision
  • To help us evaluate and improve our policies on children’s social care
  • All us target funds to specific areas where they are needed
  • To help facilitate our admissions policy

What information will be shared?

Lancashire County Council has a statutory duty to share the information below with the Department of Education (DfE). The sharing of this data is required to facilitate the school funding process and well as the educational attainment policy and monitoring.

  • Personal information (such as name, date of birth and address)
  • Characteristics (such as gender, ethnicity and disability)
  • Information relating to episodes of being a child in need (such as referral information, assessment information, Section 47 information, Initial Child Protection information and Child Protection Plan information)
  • Episodes of being looked after (such as important dates, information on placements)
  • outcomes for looked after children (such as whether health and dental assessments are up to date, strengths and difficulties questionnaire scores and offending)
  • Adoptions (such as dates of key court orders and decisions)
  • care leavers (such as their activity and what type of accommodation they have)
  • Special education needs and disability
  • Exclusions

What are the legal gateways being used to share the information?

General Data Protection Regulation

On the 25th May 2018 the Data Protection Act 1998 will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The condition for processing under the GDPR will be:

Article 6

  1. Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:

 (c)  Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject;

Article 9

  1. Processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.
  2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply if one of the following applies:

(h) Processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of Union or Member State law […]

(j)  Processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject.

The Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013 - Regulation 5 'Provision of information by non-maintained special schools and Academies to the Secretary of State' states 'Within fourteen days of receiving a request from the Secretary of State, the proprietor of a non-maintained special school or an Academy(shall provide to the Secretary of State such of the information referred to in Schedule 1 and (where the request stipulates) in respect of such categories of pupils, or former pupils, as is so requested.'

The Education Act 1996 - Section 537A – states that we provide individual pupil information as the relevant body such as the Department for Education.

Children's Act 1989 – Section 83 – places a duty on the Secretary of State or others to conduct research.

What is personal and sensitive information?

Lancashire County Council will share data with the Department of Education that is classed as personal and sensitive under the Data Protection Act 1998. Only relevant data will be shared. The Data Protection Act 1998 defines personal and sensitive information as.

Personal information is:

  • Information/Data which relates to a living, individual who can be identified from the data or other data/information that Lancashire County Council holds
  • This could be single elements or a combination e.g. names, addresses, occupation, date of birth etc.it could also include opinions about them and intentions towards them.

Sensitive Personal Information/Data is:

  • Physical or mental health, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, trade union membership, sexual life, criminal allegations or record.

How long is your information stored?

Lancashire County Council will only store your information for as long as is legally required or in situations where there is no legal retention period they will follow established best practice. We will keep some information after you have left the School, for example, so that we can find out what happened if you make a complaint.

We can keep information about you for a very long time or even indefinitely if we need this for historical, research or statistical purposes.

File Type Description Retention Period
Email Emails held in Outlook that haven't been exported or moved elsewhere. 1 year from the date received and then automatically deleted.
Children Looked After The arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991 and the Children’s Homes (Amendment) Regulations  2011 Files of children who are looked after, or who cease to be looked after, before the age of 18 years, should be retained completely intact until the 18 birthday is reached.   75 years from date of birth or if the child has died before reaching 18 years, for the period of 15 years from the date of death or when the age of 18 would have been achieved, whichever is the later.

Data collection requirements

To find out more about the data collection requirements placed on us by the Department for Education go to:

The National Pupil Database (NPD)

The NPD is owned and managed by the Department for Education and contains information about children in England. It provides invaluable information on the background and circumstances on a child’s journey and evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as studies commissioned by the Department. It is held in electronic format for statistical purposes. This information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and awarding bodies.

We are required by law, to provide information about our children to the DfE as part of statutory data collections. Some of this information is then stored in the national pupil database (NPD). The law that allows this is the Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

Find out more about the NPD.

The department may share information about our pupils from the NPD with third parties who promote the education or well-being of children in England by:

  • conducting research or analysis
  • producing statistics
  • providing information, advice or guidance

The Department has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of our data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access and use of the data. Decisions on whether DfE releases data to third parties are subject to a strict approval process and based on a detailed assessment of:

  • who is requesting the data
  • the purpose for which it is required
  • the level and sensitivity of data requested: and
  • the arrangements in place to store and handle the data

To be granted access to pupil information, organisations must comply with strict terms and conditions covering the confidentiality and handling of the data, security arrangements and retention and use of the data.

Information about the department’s data sharing process.

Information about which organisations the department has provided pupil information, (and for which project).

Contact DfE

Your rights

If you would like to request a copy of the information Lancashire County Council holds on you then please make your request in writing to the Information Governance team. Contact and process details can be found here.

If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect you can request to see this information and even have it corrected or deleted. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request but we may need to hold or process information in connection with one or more of the Council’s legal functions.

You have the right to opt out of Lancashire County Council receiving or holding your personal identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues. The process for opting out will depend on the specific data is and what programme it relates to.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact the Information Governance team who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (external link).

Further information

Lancashire County Council is a registered data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can search the register of data controllers (external link) to find out more about:

  • Reasons/purposes for which we process information
  • Type/classes of information we process
  • Who we process information about
  • Who we may share information with

For more details about data protection please refer to the Information Commissioner's Office website (external link).

Lancashire County Council's Data Protection Officer is Paul Bond