Data Protection and Freedom of Information Policy
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
All academies within the Ark Schools network collect and use certain types of personal information about staff, pupils, parents and other individuals who come in contact with the academy in order provide education and associated functions. Ark Charter Academy may be required by law to collect and use certain types of information to comply with statutory obligations related to employment, education and safeguarding. Our Data Protection and Freedom of Information Policy is intended to ensure that personal information is dealt with properly and securely and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other legislation.
The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’, which means any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified.
The personal data held by Ark Carter Academy regarding pupils includes contact details, assessment and/or examination results, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs, any relevant medical information, and photographs.
The data is used to support the education of our pupils, to monitor and report on their progress, to provide appropriate pastoral care, and to assess how well the academy as a whole is doing, together with any other uses normally associated with this provision in a school environment.
The basis on which we process personal information is, in the main, necessary for the performance of a legal obligation: we are a state school providing mainstream education and subject to a legal framework set by government.
Ark schools has an Information Governance Manager who is responsible for GDPR. Each school has a data protection officer. At Ark Charter the Data Protection Officer is Mrs Alison Norton, Operations Manager.
Ark Schools including Ark Charter Academy Data Protection and freedom of information policy can be found by clicking here.
As part of our communication with parents and carers about data protection we issue privacy notices to inform parents/carers and students how we process personal data. These are available to all new students and their parents/carers on entry to Ark Charter Academy. These privacy notices are for information only and no response is required. They can be viewed or downloaded by clicking on the links below.
Click here for student Year 7 - 8 privacy notice for information we store about students
Click here for student Year 9-11 privacy notice for information we store about students
Click here for parent/carer privacy notice for information we store about parents and carers
Parent/Carer and student consent
Under the GDPR there are certain circumstances for which the school needs to request consent from parents and carers, and, once students are in Year 9 or above, from the student directly (the exception being if a student, because of SEN, is unable to give informed consent).
At Ark Charter, we request permission for use of photos and videos (except when legally required e.g. for identification purposes on our MIS). Examples of when we request permission are to share photos of school trips, special events, etc on our website, on noticeboards, and so on, to publicise Ark Charter Academy and ARK Schools.
All parents and carers are given information about Ark Charter and Ark Schools request to be able to use of photos and videos of their child when their child first starts school at Ark Charter. They are asked to complete a form to give, or withhold, consent. Students in Year 9 and above are also asked to give, or withhold, their consent by completing a form. While legally Ark Charter and Ark Schools only need pupil consent from this age, we continue to ask parents/carers for consent to use their children’s images/videos. For pupils in Year 9 and above, this means that we need consent from both students and their parents/carers to use their images and videos. We have adopted this approach because parents/carers may be aware of a wider issue (e.g. perhaps some legal or other issue of which the child is unaware) which may affect publication of photos/videos.
Further information and a copy of the photo-video consent forms are available on the links below.
Parent/Carer photo-video consent
Student photo-video consent
Consent can be withdrawn at any time by parents/carers or by students by emailing email@example.com stating the student’s name and that you wish to withdraw consent for use of photos and videos.
COVID-19 Notice - We are not currently using biometric information in school due to Covid-19 restrictions. This section is provided for information for those who have already given consent.
At Charter, when consent is given we use a system to store single fingerprint biometric information used by our catering and printing systems. Alternatives are available (e.g. PIN numbers) when consent is not given for this.
Parents and carers of students 8 -11 at Charter were given information about the use of fingerprint biometrics when their child first started at Ark Charter. They were asked to complete a form if they were happy to give their consent. Further information and a copy of the consent letter and form are available on the links below.
Link to biometric consent letter and form
Link to DFE guidance on Biometric information.
Consent can be withdrawn at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org stating the student’s name and that you wish to withdraw consent for storage of biometric information.
If you have questions about data protection please contact the school to speak with Mrs Norton, Data Protection Officer and Operations Manager.