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Top Tips from our GDPR Service

Schools’ Choice launched the GDPR service in February 2017 with a series of training events held for concerned school leaders.

Prior to launching, our service lead, Sian Durrant, looked at the type of support that schools may need, bearing in mind they would be expected to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO), would have to record and maintain records of information for inspection by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and may require a data audit as well. The new regulations are very thorough and failure to comply could result in large fines, so she knew schools really needed the peace of mind that would come from using a professional service. After all, life is stressful enough for school leaders!

We therefore created four service options.

Data Protection Officer Service, to support assigned leads with independent advice and guidance on GDPR regulation including:

· attendance at termly meetings to inform and advise your obligations;

· access to our online GDPR toolbox, an innovative resource that stores all the templates and guidance in one place, and is kept up to date so schools can always access the most relevant guidance; and

· remote advice through webchat, email or telephone to a data protection expert to answer your questions and queries. 

GDPR Advice Service, perfect for schools with an assigned DPO who want support with ad hoc queries as well as access to our GDPR toolbox for templates and to keep updated with changing legislation. 

GDPR Compliance Audit, to help ensure everything is in place to keep stay compliant, including:

· a full on-site information audit;

· GDPR compliance checklist;

· recommendation of actions for the action plan; and

· remote advice and guidance on action plan implementation.

GDPR Training. Delivered by an expert training provider throughout the East of England.

Since the service launched, Schools’ Choice has trained over a thousand individuals, supported 144 schools through the DPO and Advice service and provided audits for 10 additional schools. Additionally, we have managed over 250 incidents, including subjects access requests, freedom of information requests and data breaches. As predicted, the DPO service is most popular as it gives schools peace of mind for the same daily price as a large posh coffee! The remote support aspect of the service has been a phenomenally successful, with the toolbox having been visited over one thousand times to date.

Although Sian, who was part of the first cohort in the country to be gain a practitioner certificate in data protection, started the service as a lone agent, growth was planned from the offset and she was joined by Kalisha Hagan in May and by Katie Handshaw in August. Both of whom are also fully qualified Data Protection Practitioners.

This year of experience leads them to provide the following tips, some may seem common sense but you’d be surprised how much worry they have caused people.

Top tips

  • Lock your computer screen when vacating the room
  • Don’t keep hold of information for longer than is necessary
  • Don’t use unencrypted memory sticks if putting personal data on them
  • Outsource your DPO role to avoid a conflict of interest

If you’d like more help or advice, please contact dataprotection@schoolschoice.org

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