Chigwell School (‘the School’) is an independent school founded in 1629 that teaches boys and girls from the ages of 4 to 18. The School is a registered charity (number: 1115098) and a company limited by guarantee (number: 05846105). The School includes a wholly owned subsidiary Chigwell Mitre Enterprises Limited (number: 02683149)

The School acts as the data controller for the purposes of the relevant legislation (“Data Protection Law”)

This Privacy Notice is intended to provide information about how the school will collect, use and hold (or “process”) personal data about individuals including: its staff; its current, past and prospective pupils; and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this Notice as “parents”).

This information is provided in accordance with the rights of individuals under Data Protection Law to understand how their data is used. Staff, parents and pupils are all encouraged to read this Notice and understand the School’s obligations to its entire community.

This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information the School may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data via an online or paper form.

This Notice also applies in addition to the School’s other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:

  • any contract between the School and its staff or the parents of pupils;
  • the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • the School’s CCTV policy;
  • the School’s record keeping policy;
  • the School’s safeguarding, pastoral, or health and safety policies, including as to how concerns or incidents are recorded; and
  • the School’s IT policies, including its Acceptable Use policy.

Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of, the School (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) should also be aware of and comply with this Notice, which also provides further information about how personal data about those individuals will be used.

Responsibility for Data Protection

The School has appointed the Bursar as Privacy and Compliance Officer who will deal with all your requests and enquiries concerning the School’s uses of your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this Notice and Data Protection Law.

Why The School Needs to Process Personal Data

In order to carry out its ordinary duties to staff, pupils and parents, the School may process a wide range of personal data about individuals (including current, past and prospective staff, pupils or parents) as part of its daily operation.

The School will need to carry out certain activities in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its staff, or parents of its pupils.

Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with the School’s legitimate interests, or the legitimate interests of another, provided that these are not outweighed by the impact on individuals, and provided it does not involve special or sensitive types of data.

The Principles

The School expects that the following uses may fall within that category of its “legitimate interests”:

  • For the purposes of pupil selection and to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents, and retain a record if appropriate for the purposes of future applications or openings;
  • To carry out credit, identity and source of funds checks, whether with previous schools and/or third party sources or service providers, including for the purposes of verifying that parents are not subject to (or within the purview of) sanctions;
  • To provide education services, including musical education, physical training or spiritual development, career services, and extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils’ progress and educational needs, including where such services are provided remotely (either temporarily or permanently);
  • Maintaining relationships with alumni and the School community, including direct marketing or fundraising activity;
  • For the purposes of donor due diligence, and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background;
  • For the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law (such as tax, diversity or gender pay gap analysis);
  • To enable relevant authorities to monitor the School’s performance and to intervene or assist with incidents as appropriate;
  • To give and receive information and references about past, current and prospective pupils, including relating to outstanding fees or payment history, to/from any educational institution that the pupil attended or where it is proposed they attend; and to provide references to potential employers of past pupils;
  • To enable pupils to take part in national or other assessments, and to publish the results of public examinations or other achievements of pupils of the School;
  • To safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care (including following the requirements and recommendations of the government’s guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education (or “KCSIE”);
  • To monitor (as appropriate) use of the School’s IT and communications systems in accordance with the School’s acceptable use of ICT policies;
  • To make use of photographic images of pupils in school publications, on the school website and (where appropriate) on the School’s social media channels in accordance with the school’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • For security purposes, including biometrics and CCTV in accordance with the School’s policies;
  • For the prevention and detection of crime, and in order to assist with investigations (including criminal investigations) carried out by the police and other competent authorities;
  • To carry out or cooperate with any school or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process;
  • To promote the School to prospective parents and pupils; and
  • Where otherwise reasonably necessary for the School’s purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the School.

In addition, the School will on occasion need to process special category personal data (concerning health, ethnicity, religion, biometrics or sexual life) or criminal records information (such as when carrying out DBS checks) in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including as regards safeguarding and employment, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. These reasons may include:

  • To safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral (and where necessary, medical) care, and to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency, incident or accident, including by disclosing details of an individual’s medical condition where it is in the individual’s interests to do so: for example for medical advice, for social protections, safeguarding, and cooperation with police or social services, for insurance purposes or to caterers or organisers of school trips, who need to be made aware of dietary or medical needs;
  • To provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
  • To provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs;
  • In connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, welfare or pension plans;
  • To run any of its systems that operate on biometric data, such as for security and other forms of pupil identification (such as house lockers.);
  • As part of any School or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process that involves such data, for example if there are SEND, health or safeguarding elements; or
  • For legal and regulatory purposes (for example child protection, diversity monitoring and health and safety) and to comply with its legal obligations and duties of care.

Types of Personal Data Processed by the School

This will include by way of example:

  • names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
  • car details (about those who use our car parking facilities);
  • biometric information, which will be collected and used by the School in accordance with the School’s policies.
  • bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents (or others) who pay fees to the School, and any anti money laundering information we are required to collect by law;
  • past, present and prospective pupils’ academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
  • nationality and other immigration status information (eg right to enter, live and [work or] study in the United Kingdom), including copies of passport information;
  • personnel files, including in connection with academics, employment or safeguarding;
  • information about pupils’ health and medical conditions, special educational needs and family circumstances / living arrangements;
  • contact details for their next of kin;
  • references given or received by the School about pupils, and information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils;
  • correspondence with and concerning staff, pupils and parents past and present; and
  • images of pupils (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in School activities, and images captured by the School’s CCTV system (in accordance with the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children);

How the School collects Data

Generally, the School receives personal data from the individual directly (including, in the case of pupils, from their parents). This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication (such as email or written assessments).

However in some cases personal data may be supplied by third parties (for example another school, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources.

Access to Personal Data and Sharing Data

For the most part, personal data collected by the school will remain within the school, and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). However, some functions are outsourced including IT and Catering. In accordance with Data Protection Law, this type of external data processing is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and used only in accordance with the school’s specific directions.

Occasionally, the School – including Governors – will need to share personal information relating to its community of staff, pupils and parents with third parties, such as:

  • If you are a parent and a member of the Friends of Chigwell (“FoC”), the School may share your contact details with the FoC. FoC is a separate data controller and the School is not responsible for FoC’s processing of personal data;
  • Appropriate contractors, such as visiting music teachers;
  • professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
  • Examination boards;
  • Stage 3 complaints panels, which will include independent panel members; and
  • Government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, CAFCASS, police or a relevant local authority) and/or appropriate regulatory bodies (e.g. the Teaching Regulation Agency, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the Charity Commission).

Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of special category date, most notably:

  • Health and medical / special needs records; and
  • pastoral or safeguarding files.

The school needs to process such information to comply with statutory duties and to keep pupils and others safe, but the school will ensure only authorised staff can access information on a need-to-know basis. This may include wider dissemination if needed for school trips or for catering purposes. Express consent will be sought where appropriate. However, a certain amount of any relevant information will need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires.

However, a certain amount of any SEND pupil’s relevant information will need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires.

Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the School is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance (including Keeping Children Safe in Education, or KCSIE) to record or report incidents and concerns that arise or are reported to it, in some cases regardless of whether they are proven, if they meet a certain threshold of seriousness in their nature or regularity. This is likely to include file notes on personnel or safeguarding files, low-level concerns records kept about adults (which may include references to pupils or family members), and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the LADO, Children’s Services, CAMHS or the police.

KCSIE also requires that, whenever a child leaves the school to join another school or college, his or her child protection file is promptly provided to the new organisation along with any other information which the School’s Designated Safeguarding Lead considers material to the ongoing care needs of any pupil. Where appropriate, the School will consult with parents as to how these needs are best served, but ultimately the decision as to what information is necessary to share with the new school or college is a safeguarding question that must be reserved to the School.. The school will retain a copy in accordance with its retention policy for material related to safeguarding matters

For further information about this, please view the School’s Safeguarding Policy.

How Long We Keep Personal Data

The School will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep for a legitimate and lawful reason. Typically, the legal recommendation for how long to keep ordinary staff and pupil personnel files is up to 7 years following departure from the School. However, incident reports and safeguarding files will need to be kept much longer, in accordance with specific legal requirements. If you have any specific queries about how this Notice is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact the Bursar. However, please bear in mind that the School will often have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such a request.

A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes, for example; and even where you have requested we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of the fact in order to fulfil your wishes (called a “suppression record”).

Further guidance may be found in the School’s Record Keeping Policy.

Keeping in Touch And Supporting the School

The School will use the contact details of parents, alumni and other members of the School community to keep them updated about the activities of the School, or alumni and parent events of interest, including by sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the School may also:

  • Share personal data about parents and/or alumni, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the School community, such as the Friends of Chigwell and the Old Chigwellians’ Club;
  • Contact parents and/or alumni (including via the organisations above) by post and email in order to promote and raise funds for the School and, where appropriate, other worthy causes;
  • Collect information from publicly available sources about parents’ and former pupils’ occupation and activities, in order to maximise the School’s fundraising potential;

Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the Bursar in writing. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the School may need nonetheless to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).

Your Rights

Individuals (both pupils and parents) have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand personal data about them held and processed by the School, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or to have it transferred elsewhere, or for the School to stop processing it, but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.

Any individual wishing to access or amend their personal data, or wishing it to be transferred to another person or organisation, or who has some other objection to how their personal data is used, should put their request in writing to the Bursar.

The School will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within statutory time-limits, (which is generally one month, but actually fulfilling more complex or multiple requests, e.g. those involving third party information, may take 1-2 months longer).

The School will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information made during term time. If the request for information is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the School may ask you to reconsider, or require a reasonable fee for the administrative costs of complying with the request, or in certain cases refuse the request (but only where data protection law allows it, and in accordance with relevant regulatory guidance).

If you consider that the personal data we hold on you is inaccurate, please let us know. However, the School will not necessarily delete or amend views, opinions, notes or records purely on the request of an individual who disputes the account, although we may keep a record of all parties’ viewpoints.

You should be aware that GDPR rights (including the right of access) are limited to your own personal data and certain data is exempt from the right of access. This will include information which identifies other individuals, or information which is subject to legal professional privilege.

The School is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (or other information consisting solely of pupil test answers – although markers’ comments may still be disclosable if they constitute pupil personal data); provide examination or other test marks ahead of their ordinary publication date; nor share any confidential reference held by the School that was (or will be) given for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.

You may have heard of the “right to be forgotten”. However, we will sometimes have compelling reasons to refuse specific requests to amend, delete or stop processing your (or your child’s) personal data: for example, a legal requirement, or where it falls within a proportionate legitimate interest identified in this Privacy Notice. Generally, if the school still considers the processing of the personal data to be reasonably necessary, it is entitled to continue. All such requests will be considered on their own merits.

Pupil Requests

Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the School, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making (see section Whose Rights below). A pupil of any age may ask a parent or other representative to make a subject access request on their behalf.

Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the law still considers the information in question to be the child’s. For older pupils, the parent making the request may need to evidence their child’s authority for the specific request. Requests not considered in the child’s best interests may sometimes be refused.

Pupils in the Senior School are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested, including any relevant circumstances at home. Slightly younger children may, however, be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision, depending on the child and the circumstances

Parents will in general receive educational and pastoral updates about their children, in accordance with the Parent Contract. Where parents are separated, the School will in most cases aim to provide the same information to each person with parental responsibility, but may need to factor in all the circumstances including the express wishes of the child, court orders, or pastoral issues.

All information requests from, or on behalf of, pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case by case basis.


Where the School is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time (subject to similar age considerations as above). Please be aware however that the School may not be relying on consent but have another lawful reason to process the personal data in question even without your consent.

That reason will usually have been asserted under this Notice, or may otherwise exist under some form of contract or agreement with the individual (e.g. an employment or parent contract, or because a purchase of goods, services or membership of an organisation such as an alumni or parents’ association has been requested).

Whose Rights

The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the school will often rely on parental authority or notice for the necessary ways it processes personal data relating to pupils – for example, under the parent contract, or via a form. Parents and pupils should be aware that this is not necessarily the same as the school relying on strict consent (see section on Consent above).

Where consent is required, it may in some cases be necessary or appropriate – given the nature of the processing in question, and the pupil’s age and understanding – to seek the pupil’s consent, either alongside or in place of parental consent. Parents should be aware that in such situations they may not be consulted, depending on the interests of the child, the parents’ rights at law or under their contract, and all the circumstances.

In general, the School will assume that pupils’ consent is not required for ordinary disclosure of their personal data to their parents, e.g. for the purposes of keeping parents informed about the pupil’s activities, progress and behaviour, and in the interests of the pupil’s welfare, unless, in the School’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise.

However, where a pupil seeks to raise concerns confidentially with a member of staff and expressly withholds their agreement to their personal data being disclosed to their parents, the School may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the School’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise; for example where the School believes disclosure will be in the best interests of the pupil or other pupils, or if required by law.

Pupils are required to respect the personal data and privacy of others, and to comply with the School’s acceptable use policy and the School rules. Staff are under professional duties to do the same covered under the relevant staff policies.

Data Accuracy and Security

The School will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up to date and accurate as possible. Individuals must please notify the Bursar of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them.

An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate or information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law): please see above for details of why the School may need to process your data, of who you may contact if you disagree.

The School will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to school systems.

All staff and governors will be made aware of these policies and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.

This Notice

The School will update this Notice from time to time. Any substantial changes that affect your rights will be provided to you directly as far as is reasonably practicable.

Queries and Complaints

Any comments or queries on this Notice should be directed to the Bursar using the School’s usual contact details.

If an individual believes that the School has not complied with this Notice or acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise the School Complaints Procedure and should also notify the Bursar. You can also make a referral to or lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with the School before involving the regulator.