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Schools and education

Portage Service Privacy Notice

We keep the Portage Service Privacy Notice under review. It was last reviewed and updated in April 2022.

If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice contact the council’s Data Protection Officer.

View the privacy and transparency information for all of the City of York Council (CYC).

Personal data

We collect and use the following personal data:

  • personal data (including name, date of birth and contact details)
  • characteristics (including gender, language and ethnicity)
  • details of any special educational needs for children and young people
  • where appropriate, relevant medical information for children and young people or parents/carers
  • where appropriate, relevant information regarding your child's status as a looked after child/young person
  • attendance/exclusion data from the child/young person's educational setting
  • any additional personal data (including the name/contact details of the parent/carer) that is necessary for us to assess and provide you with the service you require
  • details of previous involvement with specialist services

See further details about how we define personal data and non-personal data.

Collecting personal data

Personal data is collected by:

  • Portage Home Visitors
  • Specialist Teachers (Special Educational Needs)
  • Early Support Coordinator
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Business Support

Personal data is collected on behalf of the Local Authority.

Personal data about you/your child is collected through:

  • completion of the 'Request for Portage form,' either electronically or a paper copy. This form will also ask for your consent to the involvement of Portage
  • meetings with you, and your child
  • consultation with other professionals
  • professional/relevant service reports or CYC databases
  • post, email and telephone conversations as appropriate

When we ask you for personal data, we will:

  • ensure you know why we need it
  • only ask for what is necessary for the work we are undertaking
  • ensure access is only given to authorised staff on a need to know basis

We ask that you:

  • give us accurate information
  • inform us of any changes
  • inform us as soon as possible if you notice mistakes in the information we hold about you/your child.

Using personal data

We'll use your personal data to:

  • ensure that services and practitioners understand how they can best help you/your child
  • support our work with your child in his/her setting, in your home or in another setting
  • take photographs of work produced by your child for record keeping and assessment arrangements. Photographs will not be used for any other purpose without the additional consent of parents/carers
  • provide the child and family with appropriate services
  • 'sign post' the family to appropriate support
  • measure whether our services are improving lives for children, young people and families
  • help us develop and improve our services
  • help inform which services and interventions require commissioning across the City of York to support families and communities
  • create statistics that are anonymous and cannot be linked back to you or your family for the purposes of local and national surveys
  • administer and protect public funds

Our legal basis for using personal data

The personal data you provide to Portage enables us to support children 0-5 years and their families to meet our legal responsibilities in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice (2015).

We'll ask for your written informed consent for non-statutory work such as consultation and assessment, prior to direct involvement with you or your child.

For statutory work, the personal data you provide enables us to fulfil our legal duties, including:

  • statutory advice to the Local Authority as part of an education, health and care needs assessment
  • monitoring of provision and outcomes to contribute to the annual review process for children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

The personal data you give us ensures that we can offer an appropriate assessment of need and provide recommendations regarding special educational provision.

We collect and use your personal data because we have asked for and you have given us your explicit informed opt-in consent.

Sharing personal data

We may share personal data about you/your child with other relevant professionals who are already involved, or who become involved, during the time that they are known to Portage to provide co-ordinated support and to improve multi-agency working.

We regularly share personal data with:

  • educational settings
  • CYC Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Specialist Services
  • Professionals from Health, Social Care and Early Help teams

We will not share your personal data with any other organisation or third party other than those set out in this Privacy Notice without your consent, unless required to do so by data protection legislation, in delivering our statutory functions under the Children and Families Act 2014, or such actions are necessary for safeguarding children and young people.

We may use the personal data to create statistics that are anonymous and cannot be linked back to your family or individuals.

We could use these statistics to see how Portage, the wider council and its partners are supporting families and individuals, to help design better services and to contribute to national surveys and government returns, for example to the Department for Education (DfE).

We have an agreement in place with Attend Anywhere to provide secure online conversations. See the Attend Anywhere privacy statement.

Sharing data under Data Protection legislation

We may be required or permitted, under data protection legislation, to disclose your personal data without your explicit consent, for example if we have a legal obligation to do so, such as for:

  • law enforcement
  • fraud investigations
  • regulation and licensing
  • criminal prosecutions
  • court proceedings

We must protect public funds and may use personal data and data-matching techniques to detect and prevent fraud, collect taxes and ensure public money is targeted and spent in the most appropriate and cost-effective way. To do this, your personal data may be shared with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Police and other local authorities.

Retaining personal data

Personal data will be:

  • stored securely (electronically from 2017)
  • retained up to the age of 25 years for non-statutory files and 35 years from closure for statutory (EHCP) files
  • securely and confidentially deleted/destroyed when we no longer have a need to keep it

At the end of the retention period, we may pass any relevant information to the City Archives where it is required or appropriate to do so.

Further processing of personal data

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then we'll provide you with a new notice.

The new notice will:

  • explain this new use before we start the processing
  • set out the relevant purposes and processing conditions

Where and whenever necessary, we'll seek your consent to the new processing, if we start to use your personal data for a purpose not mentioned in this Privacy Notice.

Your rights relating to personal data

When we collect your personal data we'll tell you how we are going to use it. Where we process your personal data, you have a number of rights under data protection law.

You have the right to ask us if we hold personal data, what it is used for and to view the information we hold. You also have the right to know whether we disclose your personal data to other people and to ask us to correct anything that is wrong.

You have the right to see your personal data with some specific exceptions. For example, you will not be allowed to see personal data that contains details about someone else, even a member of your own family, until that person has given permission. There may be occasions when it would not be in your best interests to see it. If that is the case we'll ensure that you are given a full explanation at the time so that you understand why this decision was made.

See further details of your rights relating to personal data.

If you wish to withdraw consent for Portage to process your/your child's data at any time then please contact:

Team Leader of the Specialist Teaching Team
City of York Council
SEN Services
West Offices
Station Rise


Also see

Data Protection Officer

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 554145