Privacy notice - Collecting Equality Information in Children's Services
This privacy notice tells you how we use your equality information, the reasons for doing so, and also what rights you have in connection with the equality information we hold about you.
We may hold equality information about you or your family because you’ve contacted Children’s Services, you are receiving services from us, you have done so previously or you have taken part in an engagement event or consultation activity.
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.
What information is being used?
In order to meet our duties under the Equality Act 2010, make sure we are not discriminating and are meeting the needs of different groups, we may ask you to tell us personal sensitive information. This may be your; age, sex, gender reassignment status, ethnicity, disability, faith or religion, sexual orientation, whether you are pregnant or have had a baby in the past year, or whether you are married or in a civil partnership.
We may ask you these questions as part of an assessment when you first receive a service from us, through the course of our work with you, as part of giving feedback on the service or when you take part in a consultation or engagement event.
How will your information be used?
We hold your equality information so that we can provide services that you need. 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 use it to inform decision making, for example in service reviews. We need to do this either because we have statutory duties to fulfil, or to meet our duties under the Equality Act 2010.
We have strict controls on who can see your paper or electronic records. Nobody is allowed to see your equality information unless they have a valid reason and appropriate authorisation. Only people who need to know equality 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.
If you have given equality information when giving feedback on a service or as part of consultation or engagement activity this is anonymised, and will be contained in reports for children’s services managers or elected members to help them make decisions.
Sometimes we may need to see if a particular group is using a service in a small geographical area. If an individual can be traced to the monitoring figures, we wouldn’t do this without the individual’s explicit consent to process the data.
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.
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.
What is the legal basis for processing your information?
Usually, we collect and hold your equality 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 the Equality Act 2010 to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations
And under 153 of act we must publish information annually relating to those affected by our policies and practices.
If you are being asked your equality information in relation to giving feedback on a service or as part of a consultation or engagement activity we will ask your consent on the ‘about you’ form.
How long will your information be kept for?
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.
We will keep equality information that you give us through feedback on a service or as part of a consultation or engagement activity for 3 years.
Full details of the Children’s Services retention policy and schedules can be found in the Council’s retention schedule.
Sharing your information
Some of the organisations we may share your information with include:
- the Department for Education
- the Department of Health
- your school
- your doctor
- the NHS
We may also sometimes need to share your equality information with other government organisations so that they can monitor how we are doing and plan national services.
We only pass on equality 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 equality information if it is needed to protect you or someone else from harm.
Any sharing of personal data is always done:
- on case-by-case basis
- using the minimum personal data necessary
- with the appropriate security controls in place
- in line with legislation.
Information is only shared with those agencies and bodies who have a "need to know" or where you have consented to the sharing of your personal data to such persons.
We may use the information we hold about you to assist in the detection and prevention of crime or fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies that inspect and manage public funds.
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)
Please visit data subject rights for further details.
How to find out more or complain
Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please speak directly to our service:
Children’s Services Equality and Participation Team
Email: Equality and Participation
You can also contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for further information or to make a complaint:
Information Commissioner's Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)