Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) privacy notice
We keep this privacy notice under regular review and was last updated in August 2023.
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.
The Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) service is responsible for carrying out duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to statutory assessment processes, and the ongoing monitoring of children and young people who have Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans. This includes information and advice sought for annual review, tracking information, disagreement resolution or mediation processes and processes relating to appeals to the Special Educational Need and Disability Tribunal (SENDT), as well as responding to enquiries from families. We also administer and approve additional high needs funding applications for children and young people in relation to the special educational provision they may require across early years, school, and post compulsory settings. We work in a coordinated way with other children and young people’s services in KCC and with partner organisations to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Kent, and to ensure we are fully compliant with the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations and Code of Practice.
The Kent Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (SENIF) Team offers free bespoke online workshops in Terms 1-6 (academic year 2021-2022). Providing information and updates about everything that is available through the SENIF Offer and how Early Years Settings can support their children.
The SEND Information Hub Service is responsible for the SEND Enquiries Team who answer general enquiries about SEND support and ongoing casework for families and other professionals, such as sharing progress updates.
Personal information we collect and use
We collect information from parents or carers for children and young people below and within statutory school age, and from young people themselves if they are aged 16 or over and no longer in compulsory education.
Information collected by us
In the course of assessing and planning SEND support, providing advice and guidance to parents and carers, and providing the most suitable educational provision, we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:
- Personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, parent/carer name(s) and contact details, gender).
- Details of special educational needs and disabilities.
- Information about physical or mental health.
- Basic personal information (inc name, contact details (email address), workplace (early years setting), district area, job role) when you register to attend workshops, events or courses.
We also obtain personal information from the following other sources:
- Other organisations or teams that can provide us with advice and information (such as Adult or Children’s Social Services, educational psychologists, mental health services, doctors, school nurses and other NHS providers)
- Schools or post-16 settings currently or previously attended
- Early education providers currently or previously attended (such as nurseries, pre-schools, childminders).
KCC facilities has CCTV in operation to primarily deter potential intruders on the property/grounds. These systems have a chance of capturing families/carers and or children/young people, but this footage will not be used for any data collection purposes.
Any CCTV footage recorded is deleted after 30 days. Any requests to access this data will be managed by the Information Resilience and Transparency Team. For more details please see the KCC CCTV privacy notice.
How we use your personal information
We use your personal information to:
- identify your child’s SEND needs
- clarify the child or young person’s needs
- identify the support they require which will help them to achieve their outcomes
- know who we need to speak to, so we can ask them to send us information and advice relating to your child
- make decisions about whether to conduct a statutory needs assessment or issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
- make decisions about the content of an EHC Plan including outcomes, placement and provision
- support the ongoing monitoring of the provision specified in an EHC Plan where one is issued
- inform EHC Plan annual review and monitor your child’s progress
- keep you up to date on SEND related news and developments
- support disagreement resolution or mediation processes and processes relating to appeals to the Special Educational Need and Disability Tribunal (SENDT)
- make decisions about whether to provide additional funding to the setting where your child is educated (such as High Needs Funding and Early Years SEN Inclusion Funding)
- help to resolve any disagreements
- enable coordinated working with other teams and organisations
- evaluate and quality assure the services we provide
- analyse service provision and effectiveness, and model patterns of service involvement to support future service delivery planning (see the Pupil Information privacy notice for more information)
- assess for specialist equipment via the Kent and Medway CAT Service or the equipment store
- inform future commissioned services and educational placements requirements
- administer workshops, events or courses that you choose to attend (send confirmation of workshop booking, collect attendance data per district area, send evaluation forms to attendees following the workshop, collect data on the evaluation responses for further development of workshops)
- provide support and advice relating through the SEND Information Hub Service
- create digital/online content for use on the SEND Information Hub website as well as throughout our online campaign (social media channels, newsletters)
- support us in providing children and young disabled people with time away from their parents/carers and allow them access to a range of social and recreational opportunities and experiences. Providing quality care tailored to each individual’s needs
- contact parents and carers who have signed up to the Family Hubs Parent Carer panel regarding activities, updates, events and news
- administer payments to you by the Direct Payments Service, if applicable.
We use a system to log your feedback, which is provided by a third-party supplier Firmstep.
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
We collect and use pupil information to comply with our legal obligations as outlined in the Children and Families Act 2014, and to carry out tasks in the public interest. We rely on the following legal bases under UK GDPR:
- Article (6)(1)(c) - Legal obligation: the processing is necessary to comply with the law.
- 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 collect and use your personal information for online workshops, Family Hubs Parent Carer panel and the SEND Information Hub Service to carry out tasks under consent. We rely on the following legal bases under the UK GDPR:
- Article (6)(1)(a) - Consent: the individual has given clear consent to process their personal data for a specific purpose.
When we collect or share special category personal data, we rely upon the following legal bases under UK GDPR:
- Article 9(2)(b) - Employment, social security and social protection. We rely on the ‘employment , social security and social protection’ purpose condition from Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when relying on Article 9(2)(b) to process your special category data.
- Article 9(2)(f) - Legal claims or judicial acts.
- Article 9(2)(g) - Reasons of substantial public interest. We rely on the ‘equality of opportunity or treatment’ purpose condition 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)(h) - Health or social care. We rely on the ‘health or social care purposes’ purpose condition from Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when relying on Article 9(2)(h) 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.
How long your personal data will be kept
We keep children and young people’s information from their date of birth until they reach the age of 25. Additionally, the SEND and Educational Psychology services keep information for 6 years after the date of last involvement, which will go beyond the age of 25 for those young people supported between the ages of 20 and 25. After this time the information is made inaccessible to system users and securely destroyed.
For online workshops, we will hold your personal information securely and retain it until the course attendance data and evaluation responses have been processed, after which the information is made inaccessible to system users or securely destroyed.
For parents attending training sessions, Kent County Council does not keep the names and contact details of parent attending workshops, events or courses that you choose to attend.
For the Family Hubs Parent Carer panel, we will keep your personal information securely for the duration of the time you wish to be part of the Family Hubs parent and carer panel. You can opt out at any time at which point your information will be removed and no longer held. Upon conclusion of Family Hub Parent Carer panels information will be securely destroyed.
Who we share your personal information with
- teams within KCC working to improve outcomes for children and young people
- commissioned providers of local authority services (such as education or health services)
- schools, colleges and early years providers as well as wider education or training providers
- local multi-agency forums which provide SEND advice, support and guidance (such as Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT))
- educational Psychologists
- partner organisations signed up to the Kent and Medway Information Sharing Agreement, where necessary, which may include NHS teams, health visitors, midwives, district councils, housing providers, Police, school nurses, doctors and mental health workers
- other local authorities and social care or health providers outside of the Local Authority
- Department of Education
- providers of independent advice and guidance (such as contracted SEND consultants)
- mediation services.
We share information that we have gathered as part of a statutory needs assessment to identify the setting to be named in section I of a child or young person’s EHC Plan (this includes consulting in accordance with parental or young person choice as well as with those providers we feel would be suitable).
We share information to resolve disagreements as part of formal and informal processes in relation to mediation, Ways Forward meetings or formal appeals through the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
For people who have signed up to receive email updates through our SEND newsletter, we use Mailchimp to manage subscriptions and send emails to you. Please also read our KCC residents and community information email privacy notice.
We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.
The Children and Young People (CYP) Integrated Dataset
The CYP Dataset is owned and managed by KCC and contains personal data and special category information about children attending KCC schools, and matches additional personal data from multiple data sources within KCC to the pupils.
The aim of the dataset is to allow statistical analysis and research to:
- support and inform council transformation by ensuring the holistic characteristics and needs of the child population are fully understood
- provide appropriate levels of insight, evidence and evaluation in order to embed knowledge and understanding of children and young people’s needs and issues into service programmes and projects, including the commissioning of new services
- inform future service delivery planning and integrated working in order to improve outcomes for children and young people.
KCC 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. The child-level dataset is not shared outside of KCC. All personal data is stored in secured electronic files with restricted access. Only pseudonymised data is used for analysis. Outputs and analysis take the form of aggregated data, and are for the purpose of KCC teams and partners working to improve outcomes for children and young people.
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 UK GDPR.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Read our corporate privacy statement.