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Children's Services (Special Educational Needs) privacy notice

This privacy notice provides information on how, we, Norfolk County Council's Children's Services department (the County Council) uses your personal information (if you are over the age of 16 years) or your child's personal information (if under the age of 16 years) for special educational needs purposes.

By 'use' we mean the various ways it may be processed including storing and sharing the information.

Further details

We also provide further details:

You should read these privacy notices in addition to and in conjunction with this privacy notice.

What we use your information for

We use personal information about you and your child primarily to provide suitable education for special educational needs purposes.

This includes the:

  • assessment of children and young people who may have special educational needs and disabilities
  • issuing and reviewing of education, health and care plans
  • identifying, assessing and securing suitable provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
  • complying with our reporting obligations (such as reporting to the Department of Education).

We also use this information to assess the quality of our services and evaluate and improve our policies and procedures.

We may also use information in other ways compatible with the above. Primarily this will include supporting the work of other public bodies providing services to children and young people, for example, the learning disability health check. We provide more details of these services in the education and learning section on our website.

If your child participates in the SEND Extended Offer Pilot Project, we may ask for consent from you or your child to share your personal information (e.g. name and contact details) with external organisations and agencies. We will contact you directly in relation to seeking your consent.

The kind of information we collect and use about you

The information we collect and use includes the child's:

  • personal details - name, date of birth, gender, age, address,
  • contact information - telephone number and email address
  • name and contact details of person to be contacted in case of emergency
  • personal identifiers - unique pupil number, unique learning number, National Insurance number, case management system references
  • financial details if relevant
  • personal history including safeguarding reports, any criminal convictions
  • family history and social relationships generally
  • the child/young person's views, wishes and feelings

We may also collect information about parents and/or carers including:

  • personal details - name; home and email address
  • relationship to the child/young person
  • views

We may also collect information about the following which is classed as "special category data" under the UK GDPR.

  • Racial and ethnic origin
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Health data including disabilities and special educational needs.
  • Sexual orientation

We also collect information about criminal convictions and offences

The UK GDPR includes safeguards to protect the use of your special category data and criminal conviction data. Further details can be found on our website in the document named 'Special category data and criminal offences data policy' which sets out our procedures for compliance with the principles of the UK GDPR and the retention and erasure of this information. 

Who provides this information

The information we hold includes information you have provided to us.

We also receive information from:

  • Health bodies and professionals
  • early years providers (childminders and nurseries)
  • educational settings e.g. schools and colleges
  • social care bodies and professionals
  • other bodies, professionals or persons the County Council considers appropriate for an Educational Health Care Needs Assessment
  • the Secretary of State for Defence - where the parent of a child or young person is serving in Her Majesty's armed forces.

How the law protects you and the legal basis for processing your information

We have legal grounds to process this information because it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

The tasks we carry out in the public interest are under the:

  • Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
  • Education Act 1996
  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Equalities Act 2010
  • Care Act 2014
  • Children and Families Act 2014

We have legal grounds to process (including share) special category data and criminal convictions data where it is in the exercise of a statutory function and it is in the necessary for reasons in the substantial public interest. The statutory functions are as set out above.

We may also seek specific consent to use your information in certain ways. This will normally be where the use of the data is not necessary for the above purposes but may be very useful or helpful to us to provide services.

Who we share your information with

We may share your personal information with other organisations and public bodies, in particular:

  • other departments in the County Council e.g., Children's Services - Social Care and transport team
  • health bodies and professionals
  • childcare settings (e.g., childminders and nurseries)
  • educational settings (e.g., schools and colleges)
  • Youth Offending Team
  • Voluntary agencies
  • parents or guardians if the child/young persons is under compulsory school age and over compulsory school age if the young person gives consent
  • Secretary of State for Defence - where the parent of a child or young person is serving in Her Majesty's armed forces
  • DfE for the following purposes

As explained above, we share information without your specific consent as it is reasonable and necessary to do so to fulfil our public tasks and, in relation to special category data, is necessary for the exercise a function of the County Council and it is necessary for substantial public interest to do so. We also explained that the law imposes safeguards to protect your privacy in these circumstances.

We may also share your information, subject to contractual and other legal safeguards, with organisations commissioned by the County Council to provide services to you and others. Finally, we may also share your information across different departments of the County Council where it is necessary for our public tasks or functions to do so.

How we keep your information

The information is stored electronically, on the County Council's records management system. Additionally, information is securely stored in other mediums, including email accounts and in paper files.

How long will we keep your personal information for

When the information is no longer needed for the above purposes, it will be reviewed in line with our retention schedule - and appropriate action will be taken.

If we need to use your information for research or reports, your information will be anonymised and any information taken from notes (handwritten or typed) during any consultation sessions will be securely destroyed. The information will continue to be used in a summarised and anonymised form in any research reports or papers that are published. The anonymised information in the papers may be of historic interest and may be held in public archives indefinitely.

If we transfer your personal information to other countries

We do not process your information outside of the European Economic Area.

Automated decision making

We do not make automated decisions about you and your children but if we do in the future, we will let you know.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep this privacy notice under regular review and may update the County Council's website from time to time.

Date of Notice

This notice was updated on 19 June 2024.

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