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Privacy notice for the Virtual School


This privacy notice explains what types of personal data we may hold about you, how we collect it, how we use and who we may share information with. We are required to give you this information under data protection law. This privacy notice should be read in conjunction with the corporate privacy notice.

Achieving for Children is registered as a controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Registration number ZA045069

Achieving for Children’s Virtual School exists to champion the education of children in care in the boroughs of Kingston, Richmond and Windsor & Maidenhead and previously looked after children such as care leavers, children adopted from care or children who left care on a special guardianship order. The Virtual School Headteacher ensures the educational achievement of children looked after and previously looked after children is seen as a priority by everyone who has responsibility for promoting their education and welfare.

From September 2021, the Virtual School Head’s role was extended to include the strategic leadership of promoting the education outcomes of all children and young people with a social worker. It covers all those children subject to a Child in Need plan or a Child Protection plan up to the age of 18 in all education settings.

Personal data we collect

We collect and process the following personal data:

  • personal identifiers such as name, gender, date of birth, year group, date became looked after, unique pupil number, address and contact details, education provision, educating LA, responsible LA, school history and Personal Education Plans (PEPs).
  • special category data such as ethnicity and health data 
  • education data such as school attendance, achievements, SEND, exclusion and behavioural information, progress and outcomes data
  • family and relationship details
  • contextual information about a specific young person’s needs, to inform decisions about education placements 
  • information on participation by students in activities and events provided by the Virtual School. 
  • training and employment information 
  • criminal offences, alleged offences and related proceedings

How we use your personal data

We use information about children, young people and their families to meet our legal obligations and responsibilities. We hold the information securely and use it to: 

  • to tailor support in education according to need.
  • to work with education settings to ensure that children in care achieve their educational outcomes 
  • to work with other agencies to support children in care in education.
  • to host events for children and young people
  • support young people such as carer leavers into employment and training
  • complete statistical returns to Government departments
  • account for our decisions and investigate complaints

Legal basis for processing your personal data

We rely upon the following legal basis to process personal data:

  • Article 6(1)(a) - consent [for those young people accessing support into training and employment opportunities]
  • Article 6(1)(e) – performance of a task in the public interest
  • Article 9(2)(h) – health and social care

These legal basis are underpinned by acts of legislation that dictate what actions can and should be taken by local authorities, including:

  • Children’s Act 1989
  • The statutory guidance for Local Authorities (Promoting the Education of Looked After Children Revised February 2018).

How long your personal data will be kept

We only keep your personal data for as long as is required by law and in accordance with our retention schedule. This data is kept securely within an electronic system which must conform to Achieving for Children guidelines and policies.

Keeping your information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Who we share your personal information with

We will only share information with these organisations where it is appropriate and legal to do so. Where this is necessary, we are required to comply with all aspects of the Data Protection Act 2018. We share your personal data between Achieving for Children departments and services so that we can keep our information up to date, provide cross departmental support and improve our services to you. 

Some of the organisations that we share data with include (but aren't limited to) the following:

  • Department for Education
  • Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted)
  • Education providers,  schools and colleges
  • Drive Forward Foundation, an organisation we have partnered with to support care leavers into employment and training.  

Your rights and access to information

Under data protection legislation you have the right to request access to the information that we hold about you. To request a copy of your data, please read the Individual Rights Request page on this website and then submit your request using your preferred method of contact.

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • in certain circumstances have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • a right to seek redress, either through the ICO, or through the courts

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we process personal data, or would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact our Data Protection Officer: [email protected]

If you want to make a complaint about how we handle your personal data, we ask that you give our Data Protection Officer the opportunity to respond in the first instance but you are not obliged to do this. You can make a complaint directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office at