GDPR need not be scary or expensive

GDPR need not be scary

VIEWS & OPINIO N ry or expensiv e Comment by

Comment by STUART ThinkIT



School funding cuts are damaging students’ prospects


Comment by JOHN VA


co-founder and director o f Tutor Hunt

There has been much said about the new GDPR, some of it true, some exaggerated and some used simply as a scare-mongering tool. It would appear that the whole IT industry is jumping on the bandwagon and treating it as the next Y2K opportunity.

I’ve heard of schools being told they must buy expensive software that’ll do all the necessary data mapping (it won’t), or that they must pay consultants with high daily rates to carry out the process manually.

Almost everywhere that GDPR is mentioned, the first things talked about are the massive fines that are going to be imposed on us all for the slightest infringement of the new rules. I don’t believe schools are likely to be the key target for the ICO (Information Commissioners Office), and as long as they understand their obligations and create the right policies & processes, they’re unlikely to be fined.

Going forward, the key thing schools need to know are that both the data controller and the data processor can now be held responsible for data breaches. Typically, the school is the Controller, whilst their 3rd parties act as processors.

One area that is causing confusion is understanding what you need consent for, and under what legal basis you don’t. The recommendation is not to ask for consent unless you have to, legal basis for processing persona l data without specific consent can be any of the following: • Consent has been given for the processing

• Necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject • Necessary for compliance with a legal obligation

• Necessary to protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person

• Necessary to carry out tasks in the public interest

• Necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or a third party

State funded schools might argue that it could be No’s: 4, 5 or 6, whilst those in the independent sector might use 2 - Contract with parent o r guardian to educate the learner .

Schools must understand what data they hold, on whom and in what format, typically this will beMIS, paper, electronic (email, homework systems, biometric, behaviour, library, payment, cashless catering, etc, etc (this could also include voice, recordings & video files). I suggest starting to map your data, by listing all those you share data with.

Also, don’t forget staff data that will fall under these brackets too, including Payroll, Pensions, HR, Insurance. In addition, you might also share personal data with other Schools, Authorities, Health & Social Services. Once you have a complete list with whom data is shared with and whose data you possess, I suggest you write to them all asking to confirm they’ll be complaint and how.

Ask them: how l ong they keep your data, do they delete, destroy if yo u stop using them and what happens when a student or staff member leaves school?

Start to think about the data items you give them, and is it completely necessary for them to receive it, is it relevant, and used in the correct context? I hope that GDPR can be recognised as a topic that shouldn’t be feared and in fact with small steps, schools can be well prepared ahead of the

Decemb e changes next year.

r 2017 2017

Schools across the UK have experienced a turbulent year of budget cuts, exam changes and recruitment and retention crises, yet the pressures don’t appear to be easing any time soon.

Without a much needed cash injection, schools face an uncertain future, with the general secretary of the National Association, Paul Whiteman arguing that: “School budgets are at breaking point. They need at least an extra £2bn per year to avoid having to cu t staff, cut classes, or limit what they teach.”

All of this of course has an impact on students’ learning. In a recent survey that Tutor Hunt conducted with over 2,000 primary and secondary students, 88 per cent felt pressured to perform to a certain level in exams. Despite this, almost half (42 per cent) revealed that their school does not, or is unable to, offer any additional support.

Clearly, this only reinforces the effect that these challenges are having; if schools make cuts, then children will suffer significantly as a result.With 49 per cent of students already claiming that their individual needs are not being met by their teacher, this is only set to get worse if things don’t change.

With the pressures mounting and class s izes expanding, teacher s are simply unable to dedicate additional one-to-one support, causing students to take matters into their own hands by seeking external help in the form of tutoring.

Amongst the top five reasons given when looking for a tutor was the desire to improve exam results and help with schoolwork – which is to be expected. However, what is more interesting to note are the other high-ranking reasons; to improve confidence and poor quality of teaching at school.

Students are suffering as a result of school funding and time constraints, and with the added pressures of health and wellbeing, it is vital that we do everything we can as parents, teachers, tutors and guardians, to ensure they are receiving th e support they need i n order to fulfil their full potential.

For students, it appears that achieving personal goals and feeling stress free are a bigger priority than meetin expectations and so having this one-to-one

support – be that from g parental or teacher’s

tutors or other external help – will help them to succeed.

Currently the top three subjects that students are being tutored in are maths, English and chemistry; topics that often require deeper analytical knowledge and skills than what is provided in an average lesson. Yet, with just one extra hour’s support a week from a tutor, almost all of the students surveyed (95 per cent) said they felt more reassured ahead of their exams.

Clearly this demonstrates that there is a real need for additiona l support beyond the classroom. And increasingly parents are investing in it; 70 per cent of the students we surveyed stated that between one and 10 of their friends already have tutoring. Being able to provide them with this reassurance and confidence will no doubt have a positive influence, not just on attainment but also on their wellbeing.

www www .education-toda 52 their learning and

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