Virtual school privacy notice

1. Council contact details

1.1 West Northants Council

Registered Office:

One Angel Square
Angel Street
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Tel: 0300 126 7000

This notice explains what personal data (information) we hold about you, how we collect it, how we use it and how we may share information that we hold about you in order to deliver our services. We are required to give you this information under data protection law.

West Northamptonshire Council are committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) complies with data protection legislation (the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and are registered as Data Controllers (Reg. No.ZA896620).

1.2. Who we are

The education departments of West Northamptonshire Council provide services in the following areas:

  • Adoption and Fostering
  • Help and Protection for Children
  • Early Years
  • Schools, Education and Governance
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • Youth Offending Service

The Virtual School, a statutory service, is a team of teachers and dedicated education professionals who work to support the education of Northamptonshire's children in care by:

  • championing the educational needs of looked after children
  • improving the educational achievement of looked after children
  • monitoring admissions, attendance and exclusions and gives support where appropriate

The Virtual School is a service hosted by North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) and is also commissioned by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). The Virtual School therefore supports the whole cohort of children in care to both NNC and WNC.

All children and young people in the care of NNC and WNC belong to the Virtual School as well as their education setting, whether this is in North Northamptonshire, West Northamptonshire or a setting outside Northamptonshire. The Virtual School also has a statutory responsibility to promote the educational achievement of children and young people who were previously looked after by making available information and advice to parents and other professionals.

For any enquiries please email [email protected].

2. Information that we hold

2.1. What personal information do we collect to deliver this service?

(Please note that this list is not exhaustive)

  • personal information such as name, address, date of birth, gender
  • special information such as ethnicity, religion, disabilities, language
  • details of any assigned professionals or practitioners
  • care order details
  • Child in Care status
  • current school
  • education history
  • family information
  • Pupil Premium Plus details
  • SEND details
  • safeguarding information
  • Unique Pupil Reference Number

We also may collect the following information from educational settings (this list is not exhaustive):

  • details of payments to schools
  • DFE number
  • Governor details
  • Evaluation reports
  • Ofsted category

We may seek information, where lawful to do so under the applicable legislation, from sources including:

  • other West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council departments
  • Northamptonshire Children’s Trust
  • education Settings
  • other stakeholders such as health and police
  • Ofsted
  • E-PEP web form

2.2. See further guidance.

3. How the information is obtained

3.1. How we collect this personal information

  • face to face
  • assessment or report
  • telephone
  • email
  • E-PEP web form
  • Capita ONE
  • CareFirst

3.2. What is the legal basis for the collection and use of your personal information?

We collect and use your personal information in order for:

  • legal obligation
  • vital interests
  • legitimate interest

The legislations that govern and direct the delivery of services is as follows:

  • The Children Act 1989, as amended by the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
  • The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, as amended.
  • Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children (February 2018): Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities.

4. What we do with the information

4.1. Purposes of collecting personal information

  • assessments
  • service delivery
  • service improvement
  • service planning and research

The information will only be used for the purposes stated when it was collected. Information will not be sold, rented or provided to anyone else, or used for any other purpose than that for which it was originally collected unless required to by law.

How we use this personal information

  • to discharge statutory duties in regards to Children in Care
  • to promote the educational achievement of Children in Care
  • to advise and provide guidance, support and challenge to schools, other settings and stakeholders

4.2. Who we may share, where lawful to do so under the applicable legislation, your information with.

If required, we will share your information with the Northamptonshire Children’s Trust, and other NNC and WNC services such as:

  • The Educational Psychology Service
  • The Education Inclusion Partnerships Team
  • The Education, Health and Care Team
  • School Admissions
  • LGSS Legal

We may also share your information outside of NNC and WNC with the following organisations (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Northamptonshire Children’s Trust
  • Adoption Agencies
  • Advocates
  • Department for Education
  • Commissioned Delivery Partners
  • Independent Education providers
  • Local Authorities
  • Ofsted
  • Police
  • Health
  • Residential care providers
  • Substance services
  • Youth Offending Service

Why do we share this information?

In order for the service to fully carry out its legal duties and to deliver its service it is a necessary requirement to share this information.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities, only if required by applicable law and in accordance with GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

4.4. Information collected by The Virtual School is used as indicators for engagement or difficulties with education. It is used for targeting and prioritising support. This data includes:

  • Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire result
  • Attendance
  • Exclusions
  • Attainment

5. How long we keep your information for and how we securely dispose of it after use

5.1. We keep your personal information for all aspects of processing in line with the council’s retention schedules.

How long your personal information is held for

Information which you have provided the council will be stored securely in line with the retention periods shown below after which time it is archived or securely destroyed, unless we are required by law to retain records for longer than the stated retention period.

5.2. We will securely dispose of your information in line with retention periods.

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

6. How we store your information

6.1. Your information is securely stored on the council’s systems in electronic format. The Council’s servers are based in the UK.

7. Your data protection rights

7.1. The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how we can use it. Please see section 15 of the council’s Privacy Policy for further information.

7.2. Please be aware that your rights may differ depending on the lawful basis for processing your personal data.

8. Who to contact

8.1. If you would like further information about how we use your personal information, or you wish to exercise one of your data rights or you wish to complain about the use of your personal information please contact the Data Protection Officer.

8.2 If you are still dissatisfied with how we have used your data once you have made a complaint through the council’s internal complaints procedure you have the right to complain to the ICO.

The ICO’s address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

This privacy notice was completed on 18 March 2021.

The privacy notice review date is 18 March 2023.

Why information is on a different website
We are in the process of adding information to this new unitary council website. Some pages will give you a link back to a previous council website to help you find what you need. Read more about the changes.