23 January, 2020
Schools across the UK are being offered expert advice on overcoming the challenges of GDPR compliance, thanks to a new book from specialist information advisers at Forbes Solicitors.
There has been an increased awareness of the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU law covering data protection and privacy, since changes came into force in 2018.
The new book - A Practical Guide to GDPR for Schools - has been produced by Forbes' Governance, Procurement & Information team, which is regularly involved in delivering briefings to education sector events and providing training to school leaders and staff.
Among the issues covered are schools' obligations, individuals' rights, information sharing, data processors, emails, websites and social media, breaches - prevention and mitigation and practical examples and suggestions.
It can also be purchased at www.lawbriefpublishing.com/gdprforschools/, where there is access to a free chapter.
Forbes has seen an increase in the number of its school clients facing difficult questions around the disclosure of information to pupils and parents and a substantial increase in the number of subject access requests, which allow an individual to obtain records to their personal information.
This is reflected by figures published by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which has reported a 98% increase in complaints received from the public since the GDPR came into force.
The team's experience of advising schools and supporting Data Protection Officers in their daily responsibilities before, during and after the change to GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 provides the basis for the book.
Daniel said: "Data protection compliance needn't and shouldn't get in the way of education, safeguarding or effective school management.
"A sensible compliance plan, supporting documents and clear procedures on what to do if there's a data breach or a subject rights request can head off a lot of the problems that often arise in dealing with information about pupils, parents, staff and governors and manage the risk of fines or claims.
"Whilst the GDPR is very clear about what action can be taken when things go wrong, what is less clear is how it applies in practice. The aim of the book is to provide school specific and practical guidance to assist schools with complying with GDPR."
The Forbes team regularly advises schools, colleges, charities and a wide range of public and private sector organisations about data protection law and practice.