Data Protection Policy (reviewed September 18th 2018)

Presentation Secondary School Thurles

DATA PROTECTION POLICY

SCHOOL YEAR 2018 - 2019

DATA PROTECTION POLICY

Introduction

Presentation Secondary School is committed to its ethical duty in safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of its students, their parents/guardians, its staff and its Board of Management.  The Board of Management of the school is committed to ensuring that the school complies with its statutory responsibilities under Data Protection Legislation.

Scope of the Policy

The Data Protection Policy of Presentation Secondary School is designed to ensure that the storing and processing of personal data, both in manual form and on computer, including data held on students their parents/guardians, school staff and the school’s Board of Management is governed by best practice and in keeping with Data Protection Legislation.

Definition of Data

For the purpose of the Data Protection Policy of Presentation Secondary School, data is defined as personal information that can be processed.  This includes information on computer and data kept as part of a relevant filing system.

Definition of Data Controller

For the purposes of the Data Protection Policy of Presentation Secondary School, “Data Controller” means a person who, either alone or with others, controls the contents and uses of personal data.

Application of the Policy

This policy applies to the Board of Management, School Staff, Parents/Guardians and Pupils of Presentation Secondary School and others insofar as the measures outlined in the policy relate to them.

Limitations of the Policy

Only data relating to the Board of Management, Staff, Parents and Students of the Presentation Secondary School is covered by this Data Protection Policy.  Other records including the school’s financial records, records relating to the school infrastructure, records relating to buildings and extensions, records relating to the hire and use by outsiders of school facilities, contracts entered into by the school for the supply of goods and services and school invoices and receipts do not come within the scope of this policy.

Data Controller

In the context of this policy, the Principal acting for the Board of Management acts as Data Controller. For operational reasons, the Principal delegates this responsibility on a day to day basis to school secretaries. The Principal delegates the responsibility for data relating to school attendance to the Deputy Principal and data relating to learning support and students with special educational needs to the school’s Learning Support/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. The Principal also delegates responsibility, as appropriate, to Year Heads, Class Tutors and Guidance Counsellors.

Aims of the Policy

This policy aims to ensure that:

  • Presentation Secondary School complies with Data Protection Legislation
  • Data Protection rights of Board of Management, staff, students and their parents/guardians are safe guarded.

Objectives of the Policy

  • To ensure that personal data on Board of Management, staff, students and Parents/Guardians is maintained in a secure environment and that access to the data is strictly controlled.
  • To outline the role and functions of the Data Controller and those to whom the Principal delegates responsibility in relation to data protection.
  • To outline how Presentation Secondary School shall comply with the eight rules of data protection as set down by the Data Protection Commissioner based on Data Protection Legislation.
  • To outline the criteria, together with the procedures and regulations governing the transfer of personal data to the Department of Education and Skills and other third parties including statutory bodies/agencies, professionals and individuals.

SECTION 1 OF THE DATA PROTECTION POLICY OF PRESENTATION SECONDARY SCHOOL

This section outlines details on all personal data which will be held by the school, the format in which it will be held and the purpose(s) for collecting the data in each case.

  1. Board of Management

Board of Management records consist of:

  • Name, address and contact details of each member of the Board of Management
  • Records in relation to appointments to the Board of Management
  • Minutes of Board of Management meetings and correspondence to the Board
  • Garda Vetting Documentation

Maintaining Board of Management Data

This data will be maintained in a secure file in the Principal’s Office, on manual records within a filing system. A soft copy of minutes are kept on the secretary’s PC, with any hard copies kept in a locked cabinet in the secretary’s office.

The purpose for maintaining Board of Management records is:

  • To maintain a record of staff appointments by the Board
  • To document all decisions made by the Board
  • To facilitate the making of an annual report to the school’s trustees, CEIST.
  1. Teaching Staff

Teaching staff records shall be maintained in accordance with Department of Education and Skills rules, regulations and directives and shall consist of the following.

  • Name, address, contact details and PPS No. of staff
  • Original records of application, interviews and appointment of staff.
    • Medmark Health fitness certificate
    • Teaching Council Registration Form
    • Garda Vetting Documentation
  • Records of Staff appointments to Posts of Responsibility
  • Details of approved absences, such as career breaks, study leave and parental leave.
  • Details of qualifications, classes taught and subjects taught 
  • Details on course attended and/or training in relation to professional development
  • Records relating to disciplinary issues.
  • Fingerprint data for security access to the school

Maintaining Teaching Staff Data

Teaching staff data will be kept within a secure filing system and/or on a protected computer record.  The data will be maintained in the Principal’s office.

Purpose for keeping teaching staff records

Personal data on staff is maintained: 

  • To facilitate the payment of staff
  • To facilitate pension payments in the future
  • To provide a record of promotions made
  • To ensure that disciplinary issues are dealt with and recorded in an appropriate manner.
  1. Ancillary Staff

The following personal data shall be held by Presentation Secondary School on its ancillary staff:

  • Name, address, contact details, PPS No.
  • Original records of application and appointment
  • Garda Vetting Documentation
  • Health Fitness Documentation
  • Details of pay and statutory deductions
  • Details of sick leave, holiday leave and any other absences
  • Details relating to disciplinary issues
  • Fingerprint data for security access to the school

Maintaining Ancillary Teaching Data

The Purpose for maintaining ancillary staff records is to:

  • Facilitate the payment of staff
  • Facilitate pension payments in the future
  • To ensure that disciplinary issues are dealt with and recorded in an appropriate manner.
  1. Garda Vetting

Documentation in relation to Garda Vetting shall be stored in a locked cabinet in the Deputy Principal’s office. Access to this data is strictly limited to school management: Board of Management, Principal and Deputy Principal.

  1. Student Personal Information

On making an application to the school the following personal information is obtained for each student:

  • Date of Birth – (Birth Certificate must be submitted – this certificate will be returned after a period not exceeding twelve months)
  • Address
  • Name of Parents/Guardians
  • PPS No. of  student
  • Contact details (phone)
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Medical information
    • GP Name
    • Details of any medical conditions

The following personal information is obtained from a student’s “First Year Interview” form:

  • Details regarding transport to/from school
  • Emergency contact person details
  • Strengths, weaknesses and homework patterns
  • Interests and achievements
  • Friends
  • Family concerns/circumstances that may impact on a student’s learning
  • Fingerprint data for security access to the school
  • Student passports from student’s primary school

To make provision for students with Special Educational Needs and students requiring learning support the following data shall be accessed from parents and/or primary school

  • Primary school provision; list of learning support/resource teaching/SNA intervention
  • Results of Psychometrics tests

Psychological/psychiatric/medical reports and other professional reports shall be accessed from parents and/or appropriate professionals and/or agencies with parent’s/guardian’s consent.

Throughout their education in Presentation Secondary School, some or all of the following data shall be maintained on students:

  • Academic records, including subjects studied, levels taken and any changes made regarding these.
  • Results of screening tests, diagnostic tests and psychometric tests
  • Class tests and examination results
  • School reports, Christmas, Summer and progress reports as required
  • Disciplinary records and sanctions imposed
  • Attendance records and records of absences
  • Records of accidents and/or injuries sustained 
  • Records of achievements
  • Guidance records, including one-to-one meetings of students with guidance counsellors
  • Records of correspondence by students and their parents/guardians with the Board of Management and teachers
  • Records relating to bullying incidents
  • Records in relation to child protection issues
  • Fingerprint data for security access to the school

Purpose for maintaining student records

Students records are maintained to:

  • Provide for the academic, social and moral education of each student
  • Enable each student reach her full potential
  • To comply with legislative and administrative requirements
  • To ensure that students requiring additional academic, social or financial supports are provided for
  • To facilitate communication with parents/guardians

Maintaining Student Data

Student data shall be kept within a secure filing system and/or on computer record.  Data which is ordinary and routine shall be maintained in a locked filing cabinet in the staffroom.  Private or sensitive data shall be maintained in the Principal’s office.  Data in relation to student’s attendance shall be maintained in the Deputy Principal’s office.  Data in relation to students with Special Educational Needs shall be maintained in Learning Support/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator’s office.

Data relating to disciplinary issues shall be maintained in either the Principal’s Office or the Deputy Principal’s office depending on the nature of the issues involved.  Data relating to bullying incidents shall be maintained in the Principal’s office (see the school’s “Anti-Bullying Policy”).

Data in relation to meetings with Guidance Counsellors shall be maintained in the Guidance Counsellors’ office.

Data in relation to Child Protection issues shall be maintained in a locked filing system in either the Principal’s or Deputy Principal’s office. Data in relation to Child Protection issues shall be stored in manual form only.

  1. Teachers Personal School Diaries

Teacher diaries should only be used to record routine information. All other data and in particular sensitive personal data should be stored on security protected school systems. For the purpose of differentiation, information on students experiencing difficulty with learning and students with special educational needs should be entered in the teacher diary using a coding system that cannot be identified other than by the teacher.

  1. Guidance counsellors and Yearhead data on students 

A code system is in operation to identify students. Any information regarding these students is only shared on a need to know basis.

Care team meeting notes are taken by the secretary only, soft copy notes are kept on the secretary’s PC, with any hard copies kept in a locked cabinet in the Deputy Principal’s office.

SECURITY

 

  1. 1.Visitor’s Book

A visitor’s book which contains a log of all persons, other than staff and students, entering and leaving the school, where such persons have had access to the school premises, beyond the outer reception area, is kept in the secretary’s office. This book is maintained for each academic year and is shredded at year end unless where there is a possibility of litigation or where there is a necessity to maintain the records in accordance with law.

  1. 2.Security cameras

To ensure the health and safety of staff and students, the interior of the school is protected by a security camera system. The perimeter of the school is protected by a number of security cameras which are identified by signage. Video footage is kept in the offices of the secretary and Deputy Principal. Footage is not shared with outside bodies or agencies other than as required by law. Recording will be kept for 40 days and will then be re-recorded over except in a case where footage is required due to a health and safety issue in relation to staff or students, a child protection issue, a breach of security or criminal damage.

  1. 3.Security keys

The Principal shall furnish a limited number of staff with security keys as deemed necessary. Persons holding such keys are obliged to ensure that keys are kept safely and that there are no breaches of security resulting from carelessness or inappropriate use of these keys. Procedures are in place to ensure that groups and/or individuals using the school during off-school hours remain in designated areas and do not have access to any offices or classrooms which may have any student or staff data albeit in locked cabinets or other secured facility.

SECTION 2 OF THE DATA PROTECTION POLICY OF PRESENTATION SECONDARY SCHOOL

Compliance with the eight rules of Data Protection

The eight rules of data protection, which are based on Data Protection legislation, shall govern how personal data is obtained, processed, used and retained in Presentation Secondary School, Thurles.

The Eight Rules of Data Protectionwill be strictly observed by the school.

The rules are:

  1. Gather and process information fairly
  2. Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes
  3. Use and disclose it only in ways compatible with these purposes
  4. Keep data safe and secure
  5. Keep data accurate and up-to-date
  6. Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive
  7. Retain it no longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes
  8. Give a copy to the individual, on request

Information will be obtained and processed fairly

  • Personal information shall be obtained and collected using standard forms and other appropriate mechanisms.
  • Parents/Guardians shall be made aware that all data provided by them shall be disclosed only on a “need to know basis”.
  • Where information provided is non-routine, parents/guardians shall be informed of the reason/s why such information is being sought and in what circumstance and to whom it will be communicated.
  • Personal information shall be processed fairly, in accordance with Data Protection legislation, with consent being obtained from staff members parents/guardians or students where required.
  • Sensitive personal information shall be processed fairly, in accordance with Data Protection legislation with explicit consent being obtained from staff members, parents/guardians or students as required.

DATA will be kept for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes

Staff, parents/guardians (and students where appropriate) shall be informed of the reasons why data is being collected, processed and filed where the reasons for such are not apparent.

  • School management shall be aware of the various different sets of data maintained by the school and the specific reasons why each type of data is maintained.  School managment shall inform all relevant staff members of the purpose of each set of data and the reasons why it is collected and kept.
  • Data accessed for one particular purpose shall not be used for any other purpose without informing the individuals involved and obtaining their permission for such purpose, where appropriate.

Data will be disclosed only in ways consistent with the purpose(s) for which it was obtained.

The Board of Management is committed to ensuring that all personal data held by Presentation Secondary School will be disclosed only in ways consistent with the purpose(s) for which it was obtained.

 

 

 

Exceptions to this rule.

Data will be disclosed in accordance witht the provisions of the following legislation:

Education (Welfare) Act 2000

Where difficulties arise in relation to school attendance the school shall report to the National Educational Welfare Board in accordance with the provisions of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. (Full details regarding this are outlined in the school’s Attendance Policy).

Education Act 1998

To enable the school to make provision for the Educational progress of a student it is necessary in certain situations to transfer data on a student to the Department of Education and Science, the National Educational Psychological Service(NEPS) and/or the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

In such situations parental/guardian consent shall be sought before data on a student is transferred.  In situations where parents/guardians are unwilling to give this consent the school shall be guided by legislation and by Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. In the event of uncertainty arising, the Board of Management shall seek legal advice.  Data shall be disclosed when required to do so in legal proceedings. Data shall be dislcosed to the Gardai when required to do so as part of a Garda investigation.

When a request is made to transfer data to the Health Services Executive parental/guardian consent shall be sought. Where a parent/guardian refuses such consent the school shall be guided by “Children First”: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.  In the event of uncertainty arising the Board of Management shall seek legal advice.

Displays of Student photographs in the school premises, on the school website and in outside publications and websites.

Presentation Secondary affirms the participation of its students in all aspects of school life and the contribution made by them to the wider community both at home and abroad.  The school acknowledges the achievements and successes of its students in national and international competitions.  Student’s photographs with student identity is routinely displayed on school noticeboards, on the school website, in local papers, in national papers and other publications considered appropriate by the school.  Parental/Guradian consent shall be sought for the display and/or publication of student photographs and the identification of the student.

Data will be kept in a safe and secure place

The Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School shall ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to prevent unauthorsied access to, or alteration, disclosure or destruction of personal data held by the school and against the accidental  destruction of such data.  The following measures and procedures shall be put in place to ensure the safety and security of personal data:

  • The Principal may delegate, where appropriate power to the School Secretaries/Deputy Principal,/Learning Support/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator/Year Heads/Class Tutors/Guidance Counsellor/Teachers to access personal information.
  • The Learning Support/Educational Needs Co-ordinator shall be responsible for the filing and maintenance of data on students with Special Educational Needs.  The Co-ordinator shall be responsible for the dissemination of relevant information on students with Special Educational Needs to resource teachers to enable them to draft and implement individualised programmes of instruction for students and to class teachers to enable them provide to for the inclusion of these students in their classes.  The Co-ordinator shall disseminate relevant information to Guidance Counsellors, Year Heads and Class Tutors, to enable appropriate supports to be put in place for students with Special Educational Needs.
  • All staff shall be made aware of the imperative of maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive or private information.
  • Access to information (including authority to add/amend/delete records) is restricted to authorised staff on a need to know basis.
  • All sensitive and confidential manual information shall be stored in locked cabinets.
  • All waste paper and computer printouts which could contain private, sensitive or confidential information shall be disposed of carefully and shredded where necessary.
  • Computers shall be password protected
  • Information on computer screens shall be kept out of view of visitors to the school office.
  • Back up procedures are in place for computer held data.
  • Computers shall be wiped before scrapping so that no unauthorised person can access the data stored on them.
  • The school premises is secured by lock and is alarmed when unoccupied.
  • All reasonable efforts shall be taken to ensure that staff are aware of the security measures in place to safeguard personal data and of the imperative of complying with these measures.
  • Security measures and practices shall be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Data is Accurate, Complete and Up-to-Date

The Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School is committed to ensuring that

  • Clerical and computer procedures are adequate to ensure high levels of data accuracy.
  • Appropriate procedures are in place, including periodic review and audit, to ensure that data items are kept up-to-date.

Data is adequate, relevant and not excessive.

The Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School shall ensure that:

  • All data stored in the school is adequate in relation to the purpose(s) for which it is kept
  • That information is relevant in relation to the purpose(s) for which it is kept.
  • That information held is not excessive in relation to the purpose(s) for which it is kept.

Personal Data is not retained for longer than is necessary for the specified purpose or purposes for which it was obtained.

Personal data shall be retained for no longer than is necessary to fulfil the function for which it was first recorded.  As retention times cannot be rigidly prescribed to cover every possible situation, Presentation Secondary School reserves the right to exercise its individual judgement on the retention period in relation to each category of records held but in accordance with relevant legislation.

SPECIFIED RETENTION PERIODS RELATE TO CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF DATA OUTLINED BELOW

School Attendance Records

School registers and roll books are required to be kept indefinitely, within the school, under current legislation (see the School Attendance Policy of Presentation Secondary School).

Possible Legislation

  • Where litigation may potentially arise in the future, particularly in relation to accidents involving personal injuries, sustained by school staff or students, on school property and/or when involved in school activities the relevant records shall be retained until the possibility of litigation ceases.

Note: The statue of  limitations in relation to personal injuries currently is two years. The limitation period in relation to other potential litigation varies but generally is not greater than six years. The limitation period does not run until the person concerned acquires knowledge of the facts giving rise to the claim.  In the case of students the limitation period does not begin to run until they reach their 18thbirthday or later if the date of knowledge post dates their 18thbirthday.

Taking account of the statute of limitations, Presentation Secondary School shall generally retain records likely to be relevant to litigation for not more than six years after the limitation period has expired: a period of six years after a student involved has completed Senior cycle and/or reached the age of eighteen.

Student with Special Educational Needs

When a student with Special Educational Needs has completed her education at Presentation Secondary School, all private and confidential reports and other data shall be returned to her parents/guardians. Parents/Guardians shall be informed that they should retain any reports and/or documentation which their daughter may need in the future as no copies will be retained in the school.

Service Records

Pay, taxation and related school personnel service records shall be retained indefinitely within the school.

Child Protection

All records relating to Child Protection shall be retained indefinitely in the school.

Biometric Data

For security purposes, it is necessary to ensure that automatic entry to the school is confined to staff and students using biometric fingerprinting. The data is on the secretary’s PC and linked to the server. Access to this data is restricted to the secretary and is password secured. Staff and students fingerprints shall be maintained while an individual continues to be a staff member or a student of Presentation Secondary School. Biometrics data is disabled when a person ceases to be a staff member and when a student leaves school.

A copy of Personal Data will be given to the Individual on request

Subject to the restrictions outlined below, any individual about whom Presentation Secondary School retains personal data, on making an access request is entitled to:

  • A copy of the data which is kept about him/her
  • Know the purpose(s) for processing his/her data
  • Know the identity of those to whom the data is disclosed unless such disclosure is contrary to public interest, or is in contravention of the “Children’s First Guidelines”
  • Know the logic involved in automated decisions
  • A copy of any data held in the form of opinions, except where such opinions were given in confidence

Restrictions to the right of access

Certain individuals may have their right of access to personal data held by Presentation Secondary School restricted or denied as outlined below:

Students under the age of eighteen shall be given access to personal information which is ordinary, routine and non controversial. In all other situations parental/guardian consent shall be sought before a student is given access to personal data.

Data received from health professionals and psychiatric/psychological reports cannot be accessed by students under the age of eighteen years.

Making access Requests

Requests for data which is routine, ordinary and non-controversial can be made in person or by telephone.  In all other situations when making an access request an individual must:

  • Apply in writing
  • Give any details which might be needed to help identify him/her and locate the information that the school may have about him/her

Handling Access Requests

  • The Principal has the responsibility for handling access requests.  The Principal may delegate this responsibility to the School Secretary, Deputy Principal, Learning Support/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, or other appropriate staff members.
  • Personal data will be given only to persons who attend at the school and provide verifiable proof of their identity where this is defined necessary.
  • In situations where one parent has obtained an order for custody but where both parents remain legal guardians, then both parents are entitled and encouraged to be involved in all important decisions that affect their daughter. Both parents are entitled to make access requests to personal data held on their daughter.
  • The Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School is committed to ensuring that procedures are in place to rectify or erase any inaccurate information, as identified by an individual on whom the data is kept, within forty days of the request being made.
  • Presentation Secondary School shall reply promptly to access requests and in any event within forty days of receiving such a request.  Where an access request is made in respect of examination data, information shall be supplied within sixty days of receiving the request or sixty days of the first publication of the results (whichever is the later).
  • Information provided to the individual making an access request shall be in as clear and simple form as is practicable.
  • Where no information is held on an individual who makes an access request he/she shall be informed within forty days of making the request that no such information is held.

Exceptions to the Rule

Where an application is made for access to health data held by the school and it is believed that the communication of such data would cause serious harm to the subject’s mental, emotional or physical health, Presentation Secondary School shall consult the relevant professional(s) and/or agencies involved with the subject and shall be guided by the recommendations of such professional(s) and or agencies regarding the communication of such data.  In complicated situations, the Board of Management shall seek legal advice.

Where an application is made for access to data obtained in the course of carrying on social work, and it is believed that the communication of this data would cause serious harm to the mental, emotional or physical health of the subject, Presentation Secondary School shall consult with the social work department of the relevant Health Services Executive involved with the subject and shall be guided by it regarding the communication of the data.

Communication of the Data Protection Policy

Following approval of the Policy by the Board of Management, a soft copy of the Data protection Policy shall be made available to all school staff on a shared staff folder.  The policy shall be made available to students and parents/guardians on the school website. A hard copy of the policy shall be made available to parents/guardians on request.

   

Links to Related School Policies

Within the framework of the overall School Plan a number of other policies already in place or presently being drafted need to be examined and reviewed, over time, with reference to the Data Protection Policy and any implications it has for them will be addressed.

The following policies shall be reviewed in this context:

  • Child Protection Policy
  • Attendance Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Pastoral Care Policy
  • Wholeschool Guidance Plan
  • Code of Positive Behaviour
  • Special Educational Needs/Learning Support Policy
  • Language Support Policy
  • Garda Vetting Statement

Review of Data Protection Policy

This policy shall be reviewed and evaluated periodically to take cognisance of any changing information or guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills, Department of Children and Youth Affairs  and TUSLA, changes in legislation, and feedback from parents/guardians, students and teachers.

Policy adopted by the board of management

Signed: _____________________________            _________________________

Chairperson, Board of Management               Principal

Date: _______________________________            __________________________

 

 

 

 

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