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Data Protection – key points for schools

Due to the amount of personal information (staff and pupils) held on paper and electronically, data protection is hugely important.  In particular, as more schools are using electronic devices such as iPads, mobile phones etc. the importance of data protection cannot be over-estimated.  It can sometimes seem like a difficult area, but if you know the key points you are halfway there; all staff must be aware of their responsibilities.

On my visits to schools, whether for an e-safety audit or for staff training it is a rarity that the school will know what encryption is, and this includes the fact that technology devices used in or outside school must be encrypted if that device could hold personal information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released a really good, clear, concise (8 mins) video to bring staff up to speed.  Although aimed at senior leaders and governors I would highly recommend that this is viewed by all teaching and support staff, perhaps in a staff meeting.

The key points in this video are:

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  • Are your buildings, storage and portable devices secure? (For example tablets, phones, USB keydisks, backup discs etc.)
  • Do you always tell people why you are collecting personal data, and how you handle and share it?
  • Is personal information on your website secure?
  • Do you have a named member of staff responsible for data protection and have they received training?
  • Do you and your staff know what you are allowed to disclose, publish and share?

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The video is below and you can get more information HERE.

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