Who We Are
We are St Margaret’s School for Girls (incorporated), an independent school for girls. We are a charity registered in Scotland, charity number SC016265 and are registered as a limited liability company, company number SCO12585. Our registered office is at 15 – 17 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1RU. For the purposes of this document, we refer to St Margaret’s School for Girls as “we” or “the school”.
What this Privacy Notice is For
This document is intended to provide information about how the school will use (or "process") personal data about individuals including: our staff; current, past and prospective pupils and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this policy as "parents"). This information is provided because Data Protection Law gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. Staff, parents and pupils are all encouraged to read this Privacy Notice and understand the school’s obligations to its entire community.
This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information the school may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data via an online or paper form. This Privacy Notice also applies in addition to the school's other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:
• any contract between the school and its staff or the parents of pupils
• the school's policy on taking, storing and using images of children
• the school’s CCTV policy
• the school's safeguarding, pastoral and health and safety policies
• the school's IT policies, including its Acceptable Use policies and its e-safety policy
• the school’s retention of records policy
Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of, the school (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) should also be aware of and comply with the school's data protection policy for staff
Responsibility for Data Protection
The School has appointed the Head of Finance and Operations as the Information Officer. The I.O. will deal with requests and enquiries concerning the school’s uses of your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and data protection law. The I.O. may be contacted through the school at its registered address, by telephone (01224 584466) or by post.
Why the School Needs to Process Personal Data
The School needs to process a wide range of personal data to carry out its ordinary duties to staff, pupils and parents, as part of its daily operation. Some of this activity is required to fulfil legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under contracts. Use of personal data is also required to enable the School to fulfil its legitimate interests.
The School expects that the following uses will fall within the category of its “legitimate interests”:
• for the purposes of pupil selection (and to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents)
• to provide education services, including musical education, physical education, spiritual development, career services, and extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils' progress and educational needs
• maintaining relationships with alumni and the school community, including direct marketing or fundraising activity
• for the purposes of donor due diligence, and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background and relevant interests
• for the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law (such as tax, diversity or gender pay gap analysis)
• to enable relevant authorities to monitor the school's performance and to intervene or assist
• to give and receive information and references about past, current and prospective pupils, including relating to outstanding fees or payment history, to/from any educational institution that the pupil attended or where it is proposed they attend; and to provide references to potential employers of past pupils
• to enable pupils to take part in national or other assessments, and to publish the results of public examinations or other achievements of pupils of the school
• to safeguard pupils' welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care
• to monitor use of the school's IT and communications systems in accordance with the school's IT Acceptable Use Policy
• to make use of photographic images of pupils in school publications, on the school website and on the school's social media channels in accordance with the school's policy on taking, storing and using images of children
• for security purposes, including CCTV, in accordance with the school’s CCTV policy
• to carry out or cooperate with school or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process
• where otherwise reasonably necessary for the school's purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the school
In addition, the school will on occasion need to process special category personal data or criminal records information (such as when carrying out PVG checks) in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including safeguarding and employment legislation, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. These reasons will include:
• to safeguard pupils' welfare and provide appropriate pastoral and medical care, and to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency, incident or accident, including by disclosing details of an individual's medical condition or other relevant information where it is in the individual's interests to do so
• to provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil, or to provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs
• in connection with employment of its staff, for example PVG checks, welfare, union membership or pension plans
• as part of any school or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process that involves such data
• for legal and regulatory purposes (for example child protection, diversity monitoring and health and safety) and to comply with its legal obligations and duties of care.
Types of Personal Data Processed by the School
This may include:
• names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact details
• car details (about those who use our car parking facilities)
• bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents who pay fees to the school
• past, present and prospective pupils' academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks
• personnel files, including in connection with academics, employment or safeguarding
• information about individuals' health and welfare
• references given or received by the school about pupils, and information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils
• correspondence with and concerning staff, pupils and parents past and present
• images of pupils (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in school activities, and images captured by the school's CCTV system (in accordance with the school's policy on taking, storing and using images of children)
How the School Collects Data
Generally, the school receives personal data from the individual directly or, in the case of pupils, from their parents. This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication (such as email or written assessments).
However, in some cases personal data will be supplied by third parties (for example another school, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources.
Who has Access to Personal Data and Who the School Shares it With
Occasionally, the school will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as:
• professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
• government authorities (e.g. HMRC, Education Scotland, police or the local authority)
• appropriate regulatory bodies such as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Education, the Office of the Sottish Charity Regulator or the Information Commissioner.
For the most part, personal data collected by the school will remain within the school, and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of:
• medical records
• pastoral or safeguarding files
However, appropriate special educational needs information will be provided to staff more widely for the necessary care and education that the pupil requires.
Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the school is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance to record or report incidents and concerns that arise or are reported to it, in some cases regardless of whether they are proven, if they meet a certain threshold of seriousness in their nature or regularity. This is likely to include file notes on personnel or safeguarding files, and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the police.
Some of the school’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, web developers or cloud storage providers. This is subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the school’s specific directions.
The school will not pass personal data to third party organisations except when they are contracted by the school for specific alumnae-related and fundraising activities. These activities include the administration of events, communications, data verification against public information sources, school surveys and using public information to assess financial capacity to support the school as part of the school’s fundraising activity.
How Long We Keep Personal Data
The school will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep it for a legitimate and lawful reason. Typically, the legal recommendation for how long to keep ordinary staff and pupil personnel files is up to 7 years following departure from the school. However, incident reports and safeguarding files will need to be kept much longer, in accordance with specific legal requirements.
If you have any queries about how our retention policy is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is erased, please contact the I.O.. Please bear in mind that the school will often have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such request.
A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes; and even where you have requested that we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of your request to fulfil your wishes (called a "suppression record").
Keeping in Touch and Supporting the School
The school will use the contact details of parents, alumni and other members of the school community to keep them updated about the activities of the school, or alumni and parent events of interest, including by sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the school will also:
• share personal data about parents and/or alumni, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the school community, such as the Former Pupils Club to help maintain relationships with the school community
• contact parents and/or alumni (including via the Former Pupils Club) by post and email to promote and raise funds for the school
• should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the I.O. in writing. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the school is nonetheless likely to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).
• Rights of Access, etc.
Individuals have a right under Data Protection Law to access and understand their personal data held by the school, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or have it transferred to others, or for the school to stop processing it – but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.
Any individual wishing to access or amend their personal data, or wishing it to be transferred to another person or organisation, or who has some other objection to how their personal data is used, should put their request in writing to the I.O. The school will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within the statutory time-limit of 30 days.
If a request for information is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the school may ask you to reconsider, or require a proportionate fee (but only where Data Protection Law allows it).
• Requests that Cannot be Fulfilled
You should be aware that the right of access is limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt from the right of access. This will include information which identifies other individuals (and parents need to be aware this may include their own children, in certain limited situations – please see below), or information which is subject to legal privilege (for example legal advice given to or sought by the school, or documents prepared in connection with a legal action).
The school is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (or other information consisting solely of pupil test answers), provide examination or other test marks ahead of any ordinary publication, nor share any confidential reference given by the school itself for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.
You may have heard of the "right to be forgotten". However, we will sometimes have compelling reasons to refuse specific requests to amend, delete or stop processing your (or your child's) personal data: for example, a legal requirement, or where it falls within a legitimate interest identified in this Privacy Notice. All such requests will be considered on their own merits.
• Pupil Requests
Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the school, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making (see section Whose Rights? below). A pupil of any age may ask a parent or other representative to make a subject access request on his/her behalf.
Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the law still considers the information in question to be the child’s. For older pupils, the parent making the request may need to evidence their child's authority for the specific request.
Pupils aged 12 and above are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested, including any relevant circumstances at home. Slightly younger children may, however, be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision, depending on the child and the circumstances.
• Parental Requests, etc.
The rules on subject access are not the sole basis on which information requests are handled. Parents may not have a statutory right to information, but they and others will often have a legitimate interest or expectation to receive certain information about pupils without their consent. The school may consider there are lawful grounds for sharing information with or without reference to that pupil.
Parents will in general receive educational and pastoral updates about their children. All information requests from, on behalf of, or concerning pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case by case basis.
Where parents are separated, the school will in most cases aim to provide the same information to each person with parental responsibility, but may factor in all the circumstances including the express wishes of the child.
Where the school is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time (subject to similar age considerations as above). Examples where we do rely on consent are with photographs or certain types of fundraising activity. Please be aware that the school may not be relying on consent but have another lawful reason to process personal data, even without consent.
• Whose Rights?
The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the school will often rely on parental authority for the necessary ways it processes personal data relating to pupils – for example, under the parent contract, or via a form. Parents and pupils should be aware that this is not necessarily the same as the school relying on strict consent (see section on Consent above).
Where consent is required, it may in some cases be necessary or appropriate – given the nature of the processing in question and the pupil's age and understanding – to seek the pupil's consent. Parents should be aware that in such situations they may not be consulted, depending on the interests of the child, the parents’ rights at law or under their contract.
In general, the school will assume that pupils’ consent is not required for ordinary disclosure of their personal data to their parents, e.g. for the purposes of keeping parents informed about the pupil's activities, progress and behaviour, and in the interests of the pupil's welfare. That is unless, in the school's opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise.
However, where a pupil seeks to raise concerns confidentially with a member of staff and expressly withholds their agreement to their personal data being disclosed to their parents, the school may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the school's opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise: for example where the school believes disclosure will be in the best interests of the pupil or other pupils, or if required by law.
Pupils are required to respect the personal data and privacy of others, and to comply with the school's Pupil ICT Acceptable use Policy and the school rules. Staff are under professional duties to do the same, covered under the relevant staff policies.
Data Accuracy and Security
The school will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Individuals must please notify the relevant person of any significant changes to important information held about them, such as contact details.
An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law).
The school will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to school systems. Staff and governors will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.
The school will update this Privacy Notice from time to time. Any substantial changes that affect your rights will be provided to you directly as far as is reasonably practicable.
Queries and Complaints
Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the I.O.
If an individual believes that the school has not complied with this policy or acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should use the school complaints procedure and notify the I.O.. A complaint may also be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with the school before involving the regulator.