Ordinarily we would take a break from the newsletter during August so as not to interrupt your holiday. However, the circumstances this year mean that there are a couple of updates that we would like to provide you information on. The main update is regarding exemptions and SARs related to exam results. There is also an update from the ICO on collecting and processing test and trace data for the NHS which we have highlighted too. As a result of this ICO update, we have updated our own Privacy Notice Addendum which is available in Global Documents on the portal. Plus, we have news about our online training platform and a link to the latest DfE guidance listing the data collections, services or requests which will be cancelled, paused or will continue over the coming weeks and months.

If you have any further questions about the topics below, or if you would like to book your next visit from us, either online using video conferencing or onsite once schools are accepting visitors, please get in touch via GDPR@schoolpro.uk.

Stay safe and healthy!

Exam Scripts Exemptions and SARs

The ICO has continued to publish updates to their guidance regarding the exam script exemption and access to teacher assessments during the coronavirus pandemic. They have now provided advice for students as well for schools and colleges. The questions that each answer as well as key information that you need to know are as follows:

Advice for Schools

The questions answered by the guidance are as follows:

  • Does the exam script exemption apply this year?
  • How does the exam script exemption apply this year – Does it mean that we don’t have to provide the teacher assessments/rank order information to students this year?
  • What if the information requested could reveal something about another individual?

We have already covered some of the advice in previous newsletters (also available on our blog). Fundamentally, the updated advice states that as a school or college, you are not exempt from providing the teacher assessments and/or rank orders to students although this must not happen prior to the official release date of the results. It does state:

It is likely that you will receive subject access requests from students asking to see information about how their grades have been decided this year. This may include their teacher assessment and rank order and the evidence used to make these decisions such as previous results from mock exams/assignments/assessments, records of performance or an exchange of emails discussing a student’s provisional grade or teacher assessment.” 

To reduce the number of potential SARs that you may receive, it is worth considering having some or all of this evidence available to students when they receive their results. The guidance gives the following advice about this:

After results are issued, and subject to data protection and any other relevant legal considerations, schools and colleges may choose to proactively provide students with their centre assessment grade and/or rank order information, regardless of whether they have received any subject access request(s). If a school or college decides to take this proactive approach they should be transparent about taking this step. The organisation should provide advance notification (wherever possible) that they are doing so and consider what additional information and guidance is provided so that students understand the context in which their final calculated result has been decided.

Advice for Students

It is worth reading the advice that is available for students. The questions answered are:

  • Can I ask for the information being used this year to decide my grades instead of exams?
  • Can I get information about my provisional grade early so I can start planning what I’m going to do next year?
  • I didn’t get the grades I think I deserved – can I find out why?
  • I want to appeal – what’s the process?

The guidance advises students that they can ask for:

  • the teacher assessment;
  • written comments about the provisional grade and/or rank order; and
  • records of past performance.

It also states that they can’t get information about their provisional grades prior to publication of the results, that they can ask for information processed to support their provisional grade such as teachers’ assessments or written comments, and who to contact to find out the appeals process.

Processing Data for NHS Test and Trace – Update

The ICO has continued to update its guidance for contact tracing data which now includes answers to the following key questions:

​As a result of this updated guidance, we have updated the lawful basis on our NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice Addendum that we originally published back in June.  The addendum now states:

“The lawful bases for processing personal data are set out in Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation. The school processes such data in this instance because we have:

(6e) Public task: the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law (i.e. our legal responsibilities around public health).”

The latest version of the NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice Addendum can be found in the Global Documents section of the portal.

Online Training Update

It’s been really pleasing to see the online training being well received and the first few schools complete the relevant courses (even if there have been a couple of teething problems). Courses are now fully functioning and we will be adding user guides shortly to clarify a few specifics about course operation.

Further role-specific courses are due to go live early next week and these will focus on the administrative functions within school. We will continue to update you regularly when new courses go live on the platform. However, if you do have any questions regarding the training, please contact us at training@schoolpro.uk.

One further point to add: please don’t forget to add to your training platform, any new members of staff that will be starting with you in September as they will then be able complete their specific course as part of their induction.

Reducing Burdens on Educational & Care Settings

On the 3rd August, the DfE published an update to their guidance “Reducing burdens on educational and care settings”. This update covers the following:

Cancelled collections:

  • Parental responsibility measures attendance (PRMA) census

Due to continue (in addition to those already in place):

  • Financial Management Governance Self-Assessment (FMGS)
  • Academy Trust Account Submission cover sheet
  • Annual Technical and Vocational Qualification Review Process

The document itself can be found here.

​Please contact us if you do have further questions at GDPR@schoolpro.uk.


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