Free school meals and voucher schemes privacy notice

We keep this privacy notice under regular review and was last updated in September 2022.

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.

Free School Meals is a statutory benefit available to school - aged children from families who receive other qualifying benefits and who have been through the relevant registration process. The KCC Food Voucher Scheme aims to help families with children who are eligible and who may be having difficulties paying for food.

Personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

In the course of providing your child with free school meals, and you with food vouchers, we will collect and use the following personal information, that you provide (or have previously provided to us):

  • your name, mobile telephone number and email address
  • NI number or National Asylum Seekers Number and date of birth
  • the internal unique reference that the school systems use
  • the school your child attends
  • if free food vouchers are being issued, the supermarket that you would like vouchers for.

How we use your personal information

We use your and your child’s personal information to:

  • process your application for free school meals or a free school meals food voucher
  • analyse the service that we are providing (not at child level)
  • investigate claims of the free school meal food voucher scheme’s misuse
  • to support an application for school transportation
  • to offer support through other KCC services.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

We collect and use your personal information to carry out tasks in the public interest. We rely on the following legal bases under UK GDPR:

  • Article (6)(1)(e) - Public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions (task or function has a clear basis in law)

We will only ever share your data on a basis of need, in line with legislation, and will always work transparently with you.

If you do not provide your data, we will not be able to process your application for free school meals, food vouchers or other support services.

How long your personal data will be kept

Records will be retained for no longer than 6 years plus the current financial year from the date of application after which the information is made inaccessible to system users or securely destroyed.

Who we share your personal information with

We will share your information with:

  • teams within Kent County Council working to improve outcomes for children and young people
  • commissioned providers of local authority services
  • schools
  • partner organisations signed up to the Kent & Medway Information Sharing Agreement, where necessary, which may include health visitors, midwives, housing providers, Police, school nurses, doctors, and mental health workers
  • Department for Education and other government departments as required

We may share your personal data with the National Fraud Initiative, which is administered by the Cabinet Office, for the purposes of assisting the prevention and detection of fraud.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

Your rights

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 Commissioner's Office.

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 UK GDPR.

If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used/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.


Please contact your school's headteacher 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.

UK GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner who may be contacted via the Information Commissioner's website or call 03031 231113.