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Privacy notice - Children’s Services: your information and you

This privacy notice tells you how we use your information, the reasons for doing so, and also what rights you have in connection with the information we hold about you.

We may hold information about you or your family because you’ve contacted Children’s Services, you are receiving services from us, or have done so previously.

East Sussex County Council takes data protection seriously. Please be assured that your information will be used appropriately in line with data protection legislation; will be stored securely and will not be processed unless the requirements for fair and lawful processing can be met.

The information we hold about you will depend on the services we provide. In all cases, we hold your name and contact details. We might also hold your date of birth, gender, ethnic origin, where you go to school, your unique pupil number and, in certain circumstances your NHS number.

Depending on the services we provide you with, we might also have other information about you in our databases, such as:

  • details and documentation connected to the services you receive from us
  • information we receive about you from other organisations, including reports from doctors and other health-care professionals, which we need to help us assess how best to provide services for you

We hold your information so that we can provide services that you need and keep in touch with you. We also use it to plan and improve our services and to look into any concerns you may have about the services you receive. We need to do this either because we have statutory duties to fulfil, or because we are required to undertake certain tasks for reasons of public interest.

We aim to maintain high standards, adopt best practice for our record keeping and regularly check and report on how we are doing. Your information is never sold for direct marketing purposes.

We have strict controls on who can see your paper or electronic records. Nobody is allowed to see your information unless they have a valid reason and appropriate authorisation. Only people who need to know information about you, such as your head teacher, SENCO, health visitor, social worker, therapist, or other people involved in providing services to you, have access to our databases.

Our staff are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your confidentiality and privacy.

Your information is processed in the UK or in a country with an adequacy agreement with the UK.

All information is held securely in accordance with our Data Protection and Information Security Policy.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): As part of the response to Covid-19, personal data we hold will be used to identify vulnerable and at risk children so that we can ensure they are able to still attend school despite school closures.

Usually, we collect and hold your information to enable us to comply with a legal obligation or because we are acting in the public interest or exercising our official authority. For example, we have a duty, under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We therefore have to collect and process personal data to enable us to comply with this obligation.

If we are entering into a contract with you it will be necessary for us to process your data for this purpose.

If we decide we need your consent to process your data we will contact you separately about this.

If we believe there is another legal basis for processing your personal data we will advise you of this at the time we collect the data from you.

All information processed by Children’s Services is subject to a retention policy which details how long we will retain the information. This is governed by the category of data and the requirement to hold it in our records in line with statutory provisions or other operational requirements.

Full details of the Children’s Services retention policy and schedules can be found in the Council’s retention schedule.

To enable us to provide the services you need, East Sussex County Council may share your information with trusted external organisations to process your data on our behalf. Any organisation commissioned by the Council will be under contractual obligation to comply with data protection legislation.

Use of third party organisations

Any sharing of personal data is always made:

  • on case-by-case basis
  • using the minimum personal data necessary
  • with the appropriate security controls in place
  • in line with legislation

Some of the organisations we may share your information with include:

  • the Department for Education
  • Ofsted
  • the Department of Health
  • your school
  • your doctor
  • the NHS

As part of the response to public health emergencies like the coronavirus, East Sussex County Council has duty to share information with other responder organisations under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004). These organisations include other local authorities, the Police, Fire services, Ambulance services, the NHS, and Public Health England.

We may use the information we hold about you to assist in the detection and prevention of crime or fraud. We may also sometimes need to share your information with other government organisations so that they can monitor how we are doing and plan national services.

We only pass on information about you to other people if they have a real need for it and we always do it in line with the law. This is usually to assist them in providing the right service for you, or, to help us to plan and improve our services and to look into any concerns you may have about the services you receive.

We may also share your information if it is needed to protect you or someone else from harm.

Under data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to be informed why, where and how we use your information
  • to ask for access to your information
  • to ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  • to ask us to restrict the use of your information
  • to ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way, without impacting the quality of the information
  • to object to how your information is used
  • to challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)

You can ask to see your information using your rights under data protection legislation. This is known as a Subject Access Request. If you are a child or young person, we will need to consider whether you are mature enough to understand your rights. If we are confident you can understand your rights, we will respond directly to you. We may allow a parent or guardian to exercise a child’s rights on their behalf if the child agrees to this or if it is in the best interests of the child.

Please see data subject rights for further details.

Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please speak to the manager of the service you have been dealing with.

Should you wish to lodge a complaint about the use of your information, please contact:

Children’s Services Customer Relations Team
PO Box 4
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes BN7 1SG

Telephone: 01273 482 304
Submit your complaint online

Or you can contact our Data Protection Officer

Further information on making a complaint about Children’s Services

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the ICO: Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)
Email ICO
Report a concern on the ICO website