Upcoming changes to the data protection rules mean a raft of new obligations for the storing and management of data. The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have a particular focus on data held on children and young people, which means schools are under pressure to ensure they are compliant. There are stringent fines for organisations who don’t meet the new standards; fines will be levied in accordance with the size of the organisation and the severity of the issue. Whilst schools may not be liable for fines in the hundreds of thousands of pounds like large corporate offenders, the nature of the data means that the ICO is likely to prove a tough moderator and could result in a fine and poor publicity for the school.
We’re not trying to scare anyone with this update – the rules are important and significant but from what we know of the schools we work with, very few will have any significant issues. The challenge, however, is that organisations are not only required to comply with the rules but also provide clear evidence that this is the case. At JSPC, we’re experts on technology and can provide support on how to keep your data secure, for example, or solutions for responding to data access or deletion requests, but these rules are as much about processes as technology.
This is why we’ve partnered with a specialist company, GDPR.co.uk to help schools take control and manage their own compliance. The online tool allows you to assess all aspects of current procedure and available technology and will not only highlight where action needs to be taken, but also provide confirmation of where current processes meet the required guidelines. Once you’ve identified any gaps, it’s easier to take action on the key priorities before the rules come into force in May 2018.
The new GDPR is a significant piece of legislation, brought in to reflect the changes to the way data is used and stored due to rapid technological change. We recommend the GDPR.co.uk tool because it will help you ensure compliance but also it will promote best practice across the school. Rather than seeing the new rules as a burden, it can be an opportunity to streamline processes, bolster security and provide processes which not only ensure compliance, but also support better communications with teachers, pupils and parents.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help with your school’s journey from GDPR uncertainty to full compliance.