G D P R Is Critical To A Schools Success.

 The latest figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office indicate a rise in disclosure issues and cyber-attacks in education since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, with figures jumping from 355 in the second quarter of 2017-18 to 511 in the same period for 2018-19.

Christine Jackson, partner at Midlands law firm Wright Hassall and an expert in data protection law, said that schools will be subject to increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies and parents due to the sensitive nature of the information they collect.

She added that compliance is not something that can be completed and then forgotten about, encouraging schools to take measures to ensure ongoing compliance.

She said: “Your school should, by now, have policies, procedures and robust systems in place to protect the data your school holds; however, in order to make sure you remain compliant, you must be vigilant and seek out potential problems before they appear.

“It is the responsibility of people running a school to educate staff on what is needed to achieve compliance and your Data Protection Officer should be fully aware of what is required.



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“This person should also have a thorough understanding of GDPR and what it means for schools, as well as your school’s processes.

“You should also be prepared for small or large issues, sometimes human error will be to blame, other times it is a fault of the systems in place.

“GDPR isn’t designed to catch schools out, rather it seeks to change attitudes as to how data is gathered, managed and stored.

“With the number of breaches increasing, ongoing compliance is critical to the long-term success of a school as it breeds trust.

“Compliance isn’t something that can be achieved and then forgotten about, so staying informed and proactive is crucial.”

Common disclosure issues for schools include the loss or theft of data or paperwork, information sent to the wrong person via email and accidental verbal disclosure.

Christine Jackson is a  partner at Midlands law firm Wright Hassall


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