Community learning and skills privacy notice
We keep this privacy notice under regular review, and it was last updated in September 2021.
Kent County Council respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.
Who we are
Kent County Council (KCC) collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). We are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information. Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.
Community Learning and Skills (CLS) provides learning opportunities for adults, young people and families across Kent in order to meet their aspirations for improved work skills, better personal development, strong families and healthy creative lives. We engage with local communities throughout Kent to provide educational services which match the needs of local communities based on levels of prosperity, employment and priorities. CLS works in an integrated way with other teams in KCC and with partner organisations to ensure that our services provide learning appropriate to the needs of individuals and families at various stages in their lives.
Personal information we collect and use
Information collected by us
In the course of enquiries, enrolment, recruitment, engagement, planning and delivering learning we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:
- Personal information (such as name, date of birth, unique pupil number, contact details, language, and bursary eligibility)
- Financial information to enable the processing of course payments and evidence towards claiming concessions for courses if applicable.
- Attendance information (such as sessions attended, number of absences and absence reasons)
- Curriculum assessment results
- Destination and progression information (such as details about current and future employment or education)
- Ask you for a self-declaration of state benefit claims for fully funded provision
- Previous or current education or employment information
We collect information about you via the following websites:
- Community Learning and Skills website
- Kent Adult Education website
- Kent Training and Apprenticeships website
We also collect the following ‘special category data’ (personal data which is more sensitive and is treated with extra care and protection) when you provide it to us:
- Information such as your origin nationality, country of birth, and racial or ethnic
- Information about any health conditions, disabilities or learning difficulties that may apply to you
- Information about you and your circumstances, including any health and safety concerns that may be relevant
- Information about current criminal convictions and offences, allegations, or related security measures/incidents
Whilst the majority of learner information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. To comply with UK GDPR, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain learner information to us or if your consent is required.
We also obtain personal information from other sources as follows:
- Information about young people aged 16-19 requiring learning opportunities to prevent being Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)
- Personal information, characteristics, assessment results, Unique Learner Number (ULN) and Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) information from national personal learning records, schools, or colleges that you have previously attended.
- Referrals from Partnership organisations, Children’s Centres, Schools & Department of Work & Pensions
From your employer, if you are being sponsored to undertake a course with us or are following an Apprenticeship programme.
How we use your personal information
We use your personal information to:
- work with other teams and organisations to ensure appropriate learning, employment and career opportunities are accessible to you
- support learners’ learning
- monitor and report on learners’ progress
- provide appropriate pastoral care
- support you to decide what to do after you leave the programme of learning
- provide Information, Advice and Guidance and to promote further learning opportunities
- register learners for accredited qualifications and non-accredited courses
- the information you supply is used by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE), to issue you with a Unique Learner Number (ULN) and to create your Personal Learning Record, as part of the functions of the DfE
- process your enrolment and notify you of your enrolment status
- evaluate and quality assure the services we provide.
- contact you for feedback or evaluation on any of our services or courses delivered
- inform you of special offers, promotions, website changes, and new services that may be of interest, if you have consented for us to do so
- undertake analysis, profiling, or statistical research for marketing purposes and to plan new services or courses
- use your images, quotes or coursework for good news information stories or promotional material if you have consented for us to do so
- administer and protect our websites and Management Information systems (including data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support)
- provide relevant reports and data to facilitate any inspection or assessment
- provide internal training to our staff such as how to conduct an enrolment using our MI systems
- investigate and respond to any communication, complaint or request made by you
- create and/or provide you access to on-line platforms or products that will be used in the course of your studies, including the creation of a CLS education e-mail address if applicable
- investigate and process any Safeguarding or Prevent issues that may be relevant
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
When we collect your personal data, we rely on the following lawful basis:
For Learners under 19:
We collect and use your personal information to carry out tasks under our legal obligation. We rely on the following legal basis under UK GDPR:
- Article (6)(1)(c) - Legal obligation: the processing is necessary to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).
This legal basis is underpinned by acts of legislation that dictate what actions can and should be taken by local authorities, including:
- 537A of the Education Act 1996
- Section 83 of the Children Act 1989.
- 507B of the Education Act 1996.
- Section 3 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.
For other Learners:
We collect and use your personal information to carry out tasks under legitimate interests. We rely on the following legal basis under UK GDPR:
- Article (6)(1)(f) - Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party
Our Legitimate interests are:
We need to collect and process data and retain records in order to fulfil our functions as an education provider and to maintain our relationship with our Learners and the wider community, providing the best possible educational and societal benefits.
When we collect or share special category personal data, we rely upon the following legal bases under UK GDPR:
- Article 9(2)(g) - Reasons of substantial public interest. We rely on the ‘explicit consent’, ‘equality of opportunity or treatment’ and ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ purpose conditions from Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when relying on Article 9(2)(g) to process your special category data
- Article 9(2)(j) - Archiving, research and statistics. We rely on the ‘Research’ purpose condition from Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when relying on Article 9(2)(j) to process your special category data.
We further rely on Schedule 1, Part 2 (18) ‘Safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ condition in the Data Protection Act 2018 to process your criminal convictions data.
We take the following appropriate safeguards in respect of your special category and/or criminal convictions data when relying on the conditions above:
- We have a Special Category and Criminal Records Appropriate Policy; this policy is retained throughout the time we use of your data and for 6 months after we cease to use it
- We have a Retention Schedule which explains how long data is retained
- We maintain a record of our processing in our ‘Record of Processing Activities’ and record in it any reasons for deviating from the periods in our Retention Schedule.
How long your personal data will be kept
We will hold your personal information securely and retain it for no longer than 14 years from your last enrolment with CLS in line with central Government audit requirements, after which the information is made inaccessible to system users or securely destroyed.
For specific Learner data retention please see below:
|Document Description||Retention Period|
Documents created or held for Learners enrolled with Community Learning and Skills (CLS):
For the following provision types:
|Enrolments starting prior to 01/08/2016: Until Dec 2022; Enrolments starting on or after 01/08/2016: Until Dec 2030|
Documents created or held for Learners enrolled with Community Learning and Skills (CLS):
For the following provision types:
|Current academic year + 6 years|
CLS: Additional Learner Support (ALS) information
CLS: Apprenticeship Grant
CLS: Records relating to Learner refunds
CLS: Discretionary Learner Support (DLS)
CLS: Applications for funding from the Learning Skills (Bursary) Fund (funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency)
CLS: Advanced Learner Loans (ALL) recording of financial information & allocation of income
|Current financial year + 6 years|
CLS: Kent Adult Education Learner screening forms and Initial Assessment Forms
CLS: Course evaluation forms – all Learners
|Current year + 1 year|
|Learner records relating to Safeguarding||Retain by CLS for 5 years from date of last contact, records to be transferred to Central KCC Records Management Service for retention until 10 years from date of last contact|
Market Research outputs undertaken for Community, Learning and Skills
Information relating to Learner voice & Learner walks
|Current year + 3 years|
|CLS: Learner health questionnaires||Current year + 2 years|
|Information relating to customer profiling||Operational use|
|Permission to publish photographs taken at KCC events - a copy should be stored with the photograph||Life of the photograph|
|Parental permission slips for photographs taken of children to publicise KCC events||Date of birth of child + 16 years or the life of the photograph whichever is the longer|
|Permission to publish wording/quotes obtained from learners for marketing purposes||Kept with copy of quote/wording, operational use + 6 years|
Who we share your personal information with
We routinely share your contact details, learning aims and courses that you are enrolled on, attendance, any learning or health disabilities/difficulties to support you in your studies, achievement, and progression data (what you did after your course), financial data in order to process any payments or to check your eligibility towards bursaries or concessions.
We are required to share information about our learners with KCC and the ESFA under section 3 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.
Our learners aged 16-19
KCC has a legal responsibility to track all young people up to the age of 19 (and young adults with learning difficulties or disabilities up to the age of 25). The purpose of collecting this information is to assist the planning of education and training for young people and the support services they require. KCC will inform us of your current activity once you have left the school. This is in relation to education, training, employment with training you may be undertaking and whether you are NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training). Some of this information is then shared with the DfE who use the information to plan at a national level.
This enables KCC to provide and arrange:
- post-16 education and training provision
- youth support services
- learning and career information, advice, and guidance.
The National Pupil Database (NPD)
The NPD is owned and managed by the DfE 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 DfE. 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 learners to the DfE as part of statutory data collections such as monthly National Client Caseload Information System (NCCIS) submissions about young people’s post-16 activities. 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.
The DfE may share information about our learners 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 DfE 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 this 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.
We also share information with:
- teams within Kent County Council working to improve outcomes for children and young people
- commissioned providers of local authority services (such as education services, call centre and payment services)
- schools, colleges and other providers of education and training
- the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
- Matrix standard
- awarding bodies for accredited courses
- third party sub-contractors and partner organisations who deliver courses on behalf of CLS (such as First Intuition, Hi Kent, Kent Fire and Rescue service)
- partner organisations signed up to the Kent & Medway Information Sharing Agreement, where necessary, which may include health visitors, midwives, district councils, housing providers, Police, school nurses, doctors, and mental health workers
- sponsors or employers paying for Learners courses
- organisations that have made a referral to us, such as the Job centre, CXK etc
For a list of organisations that we share information with please see the Community Learning and Skills website.
This data sharing enables us:
- to provide you with high quality services, training, and employment opportunities
- to register you with awarding bodies or assessment organisations or platforms.
We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law or in connection with legal proceedings.
Under UK GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:
- know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
- ask to see what information we hold about you (subject access request)
- ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
- object to direct marketing
- make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office
- withdraw consent at any time (if applicable)
Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:
- ask us to delete information we hold about you
- have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
- object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
- object to how we are using your information
- stop us using your information in certain ways
We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note, your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.
For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under GDPR.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Right to Withdraw your Consent
Where we rely on your consent to process your personal information, you can withdraw your consent to our use of your data at any time.
You can do this by:
- emailing CLSGDPR@kent.gov.uk
- contacting any of our local Adult Education centres
- telephoning 03000 41 22 22
- By writing to: CLS GDPR Team, Community Learning & Skills, Unit A-B London Road Trading Estate, London Road, Sittingbourne ME10 1SX.
For marketing and promotional information, you can also click on any of the unsubscribe links within our marketing materials.
Keeping your personal 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 to contact
Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at email@example.com to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.
You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Data Protection Officer, Sessions House, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ.
If you would like to get a copy of the information about you that KCC shares with the ESFA or DfE or post-16 providers or how they use your information, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at email@example.com.
Read our corporate privacy statement.
For further information about how the government uses your information
For more information about how your information is processed, and to access your Personal Learning Record, please refer to the LRS privacy notice.
For more information about how the ESFA use your information, please refer to their privacy notice:
To find out more about how your information is used by the ESFA to fund learning, go to
- The Adult Education Budget: funding rules 2021 to 2022
- Advanced Learner Loans: funding rules 2020 to 2021
- 16 to 19 funding: funding for 2021 to 2022
Find out more about the learner information we share with the DfE, for the purpose of data collections.
Learn more about the National Pupil Database.
Find out more about the DfE’s data sharing process.
Find out more about which organisations the department has provided pupil information to.