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Privacy policy

St Helens Borough Council Music Service

How we use pupil information

August 2018

This privacy notice sets out how St Helens Borough Council Music Service uses and protects any information that you give us.

Our core data protection obligations and commitments are set out in the council's primary privacy policy.

The categories of pupil information that we collect, hold and share include:

  • Personal information (such as pupil name, unique pupil number, address, relevant medical information, special educational needs information, parent/carer contact information)
  • Attendance and assessment information (such as sessions attended, number of absences and lesson assessments)
  • Characteristics (such as ethnicity, language, nationality and free school meal eligibility)

Why we collect and use this information

We collect and access only the personal data we need and use the pupil and parent/carer data:

  • to provide a safe service to our pupils
  • to invoice parents/carers for specialist tuition
  • to inform you of relevant organisation information
  • to support pupil learning and progression
  • to monitor and report on pupil progress
  • to assess the quality of our services
  • to comply with the law regarding data sharing

The lawful basis on which we use this information

We collect and use pupil information under the Data Protection 2018. We process personal data so that we are able to provide the Music Service; this includes, where relevant, medical information by consent.

Anyone processing personal data must comply with the six data protection principles set out in the GDPR. We are required to comply with these principles (summarised below), and show that we comply, in respect of any personal data that we deal with as a data controller.

Personal data should be:

  1. processed fairly, lawfully and transparently;
  2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a way which is incompatible with those purposes;
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purpose for which it is held;
  4. accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
  5. not kept longer than necessary; and
  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data.

Collecting pupil information

While the majority of pupil information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. However, you will not be able to access some services such as instrument loan and music centre activities without a fully completed consent form. In order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain pupil information to us or if you have a choice in this.

Storing pupil data

We hold pupil data for a maximum of 6 years, in line with our services' retention policy. As we only retain information for as long as is necessary, the majority of personal data is kept for two years or less; this is the case of any medical information held by the service once a young person has ceased attending their activities with us.

Who we share pupil information with and why

We routinely share pupil information with:

  • high schools for pupils receiving music tuition that are transitioning from primary school
  • examination boards including Trinity College London, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London College of Music and Rockschool
  • internal local authority departments (i.e. for safeguarding)
  • other local authorities for BOPA licences
  • other Music Education Hubs and associated partner organisations for joint activities across the region

We do not share information about our pupils with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.

The National Pupil Database (NPD)

The NPD is owned and managed by the Department for Education and contains information about pupils in schools in England. It provides invaluable evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as studies commissioned by the Department. It is held in electronic format for statistical purposes. This information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and awarding bodies.

We are required by law to provide information about our pupils to the DfE as part of statutory data collections, such as the school census and early years census. Some of this information is then stored in the NPD. The law that allows this is the Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013. Find out more about the NPD.

The department may share information about our pupils from the NPD with third parties who promote the education or well-being of children in England by:

  • conducting research or analysis
  • producing statistics
  • providing information, advice or guidance

The Department has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of our data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access and use of the data. Decisions on whether DfE releases data to third parties are subject to a strict approval process and based on a detailed assessment of:

  • who is requesting the data
  • the purpose for which it is required
  • the level and sensitivity of data requested: and
  • the arrangements in place to store and handle the data

To be granted access to pupil information, organisations must comply with strict terms and conditions covering the confidentiality and handling of the data, security arrangements and retention and use of the data.

Read more information about the department's data sharing process.

Read information about which organisations the department has provided pupil information, (and for which project).

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, parents and pupils have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or be given access to your child's educational record, please contact our Data Protection Officer on

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed;

Likewise, if you have consented to us using your information for the communication of future opportunities for your child, or for the use of photographic imaged in our promotions etc. you are free to withdraw this consent at any time by contacting

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with our Data Protection Officer in the first instance on

Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office at

Contact us

If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact:

Dr Jeremy Sleith, Head of Service
St Helens Borough Council Music Service
01744 677946