How we use Children's Social Care information
The categories of personal information that we process. This includes:
- personal information (such as name, date of birth and address)
- characteristics (such as gender, ethnicity and disability)
- episodes of being a child in need (such as referral information, assessment information, Section 47 information, Initial Child Protection information and Child Protection Plan information)
- episodes of being looked after (such as important dates, information on placements)
- outcomes for looked after children (such as whether health and dental assessments are up to date, strengths and difficulties questionnaire scores and offending)
- adoptions (such as dates of key court orders and decisions)
- care leavers (such as their activity and what type of accommodation they have)
- children with special needs (such as details of special need and support given)
Why we collect and use this information
We use this personal data to:
- support these children and monitor their progress
- provide them with pastoral care
- assess the quality of our services
- evaluate and improve our policies on children's social care
For data collection purposes of the Children in Need census and the SSDA903 return for children looked after children with the Department for Education on a statutory basis, information is collected under Section 83 of 1989 Children's Act, Section 7 of the Young People's Act 2008 and also under section 3 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.
Collecting this information
We collect personal information via a Council's electronic database.
Children in need and children looked after information is essential for the local authority's operational use. Whilst the majority of personal information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it requested on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with UK GDPR, we will inform you at the point of collection, whether you are required to provide certain information to us or if you have a choice in this and we will tell you what you need to do if you do not want to share this information with us.
Storing personal data
We hold data securely for the set amount of time shown in our data retention schedule. For more information on our data retention schedule and how we keep your data safe, please view our policy:
Who we share this information with
We routinely share this information with:
- the Department for Education (DfE)
- the National Health Service (NHS)
- Public Health Services
Why we share this information
We do not share information about our children in need or children looked after with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.
NHS (National Health Service)
All local authorities as part of a national programme share basic information securely when a child is known to social services and is a Looked After Child or on a Child Protection Plan, if that child attends an NHS unscheduled care setting, such as an emergency department or a minor injury unit:
This means that health and social care staff have a more complete picture of a child's interactions with health and social care services. This enables them to provide better care and earlier interventions for children who are considered vulnerable and at risk
More information can be obtained from child protection information sharing service (Digital NHS).
All Greater Manchester local authorities, as part of the Greater Manchester Shared Care Record project, also share basic information with NHS on active children's social care and early help cases, to enable local NHS agencies to know whether a child is known to children's social care and supply the contact details of a child's children's social care worker.
More information can be obtained about Greater Manchester Care Record (Health Motivation Manchester).
The Department for Education
The Department for Education (DfE) collects personal data from educational settings and local authorities via various statutory data collections. We are required to share information about our children in need and children looked after with the DfE for the purpose of those data collections. The DfE collects personal data from educational settings and local authorities via various statutory data collections. We share children in need data for the Children in Need census and children looked after data for the SSDA903 return with the Department on a statutory basis under Section 83 of 1989 Children's Act, Section 7 of the Young People's Act 2008 and also under section 3 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.
All data is transferred securely and held by DfE under a combination of software and hardware controls which meet the current security policy framework (Gov.uk).
Public Health Services
For pupils aged 5 to 16 years, the Local authority Children's, Young People and Culture department from information already supplied by schools to the local authority will pass on basic demographical information to the Public Health service, for the sole purpose of Public Health using the information for organizing, developing and monitoring child immunization programmes, to ensure that all parents and pupils receive prompt and accurate details of information in respect of their child's immunizations. The school information that will be provided for this purpose will be the name and address of the pupil and their parents and school attended. In addition, the date of birth of the pupil is supplied.
For more information, please see 'How Government uses your data' section.
Requesting access to your personal data
Under data protection legislation, parents, carers and children have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information go to the contact us area.
Depending on the lawful basis above, you also have the right to:
- object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
- prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
- object to decisions being taken by automated means
- in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
- a right to seek redress, either through the ICO, or through the courts
If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly by making a complaint on the Information Commissioner's Office website.
For further information on how to request access to personal information held centrally by the DfE, please see 'How the Government uses your data' section of this notice.
If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please go the contact us area.
How Government uses your data
The data that we lawfully share with the DfE through data collections helps to:
- develop national policies
- manage local authority performance
- administer and allocate funding
- identify and encourage good practice
Data collection requirements
To find out more about the data collection requirements placed on us by the Department for Education go to:
- Children in need census information (Gov.uk).
- Children looked after return guide to submitting data (Gov.uk).
The National Pupil Database (NPD)
Much of the data about pupils in England goes on to be held in the National Pupil Database (NPD).
The NPD is owned and managed by the Department for Education and contains information about pupils in schools in England. It provides invaluable evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as studies commissioned by the Department.
It is held in electronic format for statistical purposes. This information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and awarding bodies.
To find out more about the NPD, go to apply for Department for Education personal data extracts (Gov.uk).
Sharing by the Department
The law allows the department to share pupils' personal data with certain third parties, including:
- local authorities
- organisations connected with promoting the education or wellbeing of children in England
- other government departments and agencies
- organisations fighting or identifying crime
For more information about the department's NPD data sharing process, please visit: Data protection and how we share pupil and workforce data (Gov.uk).
Organisations fighting or identifying crime may use their legal powers to contact DfE to request access to individual level information relevant to detecting that crime. Whilst numbers fluctuate slightly over time, DfE typically supplies data on around 600 pupils per year to the Home Office and roughly one per year to the police.
For information about which organisations the department has provided pupil information, (and for which project) or to access a monthly breakdown of data share volumes with Home Office and the Police please visit the following website Department for Education external data shares (Gov.uk).
How to find out what personal information DfE hold about you
Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018, you're entitled to ask the Department for Education:
- if they are processing your personal data
- for a description of the data they hold about you
- the reasons they're holding it and any recipient it may be disclosed to
- for a copy of your personal data and any details of its source
If you want to see the personal data held about you by the Department, you should make a 'subject access request'. Further information on how to do this can be found within the Department's personal information charter (Gov.uk).