General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

On the 25th May 2018, all UK organisations which share personal data, will have to comply with EU the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  This crucial piece of legislation will affect the provision of services to the education sector in a significant way for both schools that collect and manage special category data relating to children and the businesses that process it. It will introduce new responsibilities, including the need to demonstrate compliance, as well as enforcement that is more stringent. There will also be substantially increased penalties than the current Data Protection Act (DPA), which it will supersede.

More information on GDPR is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office by clicking here.

Contact Group, along with the other businesses in the IRIS group have been working to ensure that the way we handle and process your data is compliant in advance of the deadline.

Contact Group – Responsibilities

GDPR requires Contact Group to adhere to a number of key principles with regards to your data and you can be assured that we take these responsibilities extremely seriously.

As part of our commitment to GDPR we make the following promises to our customers and partners;

  • We will only manage data where we have an agreement with the data controller
  • We will only retain data for as long as we have a processing agreement with the controller or need to do so with the data subject
  • Ensure data is handled in accordance to the GDPR legislation.
  • We train our staff in the proper handling of personal data and maintaining confidentiality at all times
  • We will review and update our internal processes and safeguards around data handlingWe will work where necessary to support the Data Controller in supporting the rights of the data subject

To support our GDPR responsibilities and promises we have or are carrying out the following actions:

  • We have staff who have recognised accreditations EU General Data Protection Regulation Foundation (GDPR F) and EU General Data Protection Regulation Practitioner (GDPR P).
  • Updated our agreements with schools to include the required GDPR clauses and generally updated to reflect the way our services are delivered
  • Updated our software where required to support the new legislation
  • Audited the data we hold, and risk assessed where and how it is held
  • Formalised our GDPR Statement, based on IRIS Group policies
  • Trained all our staff on their legal responsibilities and duties – this is ongoing
  • Updated our third-party suppliers, where required, to ensure that personal data is held within the EEA
  • Reviewed and updated our data retention policy
  • Provided tools to assist the Data Controller in fulfilling their obligations to the Data subjects
  • Updating privacy notices

Educational Establishment / Local Education Authorities – Responsibilities

GDPR is a partnership between the educational establishment / local education authority (Data Controller) and Contact Group (The Data Processor) and as such imposes principles and requirements on both parties. In engaging with Contact Group the Data Controller ’Schools/Clubs etc. Users of the Contact Group services, must;

  • Ensure that data imported or created using Contact Group services are covered by demonstrable/documented evidence of consent from the data subject (Parent/Staff member etc.) for their data to be shared with a processor
  • Act swiftly to remove any parent data from all processing platforms where consent has been withdrawn
  • Update educational establishment management information systems (MIS) promptly and remove pupil and parent details from processing systems as soon as data subjects leave.
  • Manage all requests from the data subject directly

Software updates and considerations to ensure GDPR compliance

In order to ensure GDPR compliance, below is a summary of the updates that have been made or are in progress to the Contact Group software and processes;

  • Added automatic deletion of personal data where no active connection to a school or club exists
  • Including compliance of data sharing agreements into our data extraction process
  • Making our data extraction process more transparent for data protection representatives in education establishments.

Useful documents

Contact Group is part of the Iris Software group: the IRIS Data Protection policy document –  Click here to download.

Contact Group GDPR and Data Protection overview – Click here to download.

Contact Group GDPR FAQ – Click here to download.

The following are for the Contact Group website – please if you are looking for specific product related terms and privacy notices go to the appropriate web services.

Contact Group Terms and Conditions  – Click here to view.

Contact Group Data general privacy notice – Click here to view.

Our Partner Products

“This technology has helped us to contact parents a lot more efficiently. Previously we had to call all the parents individually, now we simply press a button.”

Headteacher at secondary school, Carlisle

OurSchoolsApp has been fantastic in improving parental engagement, as the parents have all the important information in one place, in the palm of their hands.  We can send FREE calendar reminders to parents so they don’t forget about events that we have in school, which is especially useful for fundraising events where the more people that attend the better.  We also send our newsletter via the app, meaning we have saved a ridiculous amount of money on paper and ink.  The app has paid for itself many times over and we’re always in the loop with new features as soon as they come out!’

(School Business Manager, Gosforth C of E Primary, Cumbria)


“Reducing the time teachers have to spend taking the register means more time for teaching. In an era when everyone is under pressure to deliver great results, that’s good news not just for students, but teachers too. The Reggie® app is incredibly quick and easy to use and takes full advantage of smartphone simplicity to free up hours of extra contact time over the school year. The fact Reggie® is available for both Apple and Android devices is the icing on the cake.”

Co-ordinator at Technology College

Truancy Call has helped us reduce the rates of unauthorised absence significantly.”

Headteacher at an Academy in Essex

“We have used this solution for 3 years now and we take the line that children often ‘talk with their thumbs’ and that texting provides them with a familiar medium to communicate issues that they might otherwise find difficult.

“It’s very simple to use, I get a text when someone has made a report and I can listen to it as a voicemail and reply by text. We always respond the same day. The commitment I give is that I will drop whatever I’m doing and will arrange for the most appropriate person to deal with the incident immediately.”

Deputy Headteacher at Secondary School, Derbyshire

“The App is useful as news reaches parents directly, rather than them having to look for it on the school website. It’s a good way of making sure parents are getting the necessary information.”

Assistant Headteacher at secondary school, Liverpool

“LCC is now able to meet, at a reasonable cost, its statutory requirements under the Children’s Act 2004. In addition to this it is able to send more quickly and efficiently regular reports to its partners on its LAC’s educational performance.

“The recent Ofsted report stated: ‘A new electronic data system for attendance monitoring, both within the city and out of area, ensures daily checks and swift action.”

Strategic Lead for LAC Education at Liverpool City Council

“ClubContact is just excellent. Members are very happy to be informed via texts and emails. It’s more efficient and also it saves loads of admin time. The setup has taken no time at all and we were up and running within a day or two, what more can I say, it’s great!”

Football club owner at Essex

“This particular scheme has been very successful …. mentees can discreetly send information and seek assistance about problems they are encountering. Although there are considerable advantages to our face-to-face method, there are also drawbacks. For example, sometimes mentors aren’t always available when the student wants to see them or the question they have may just require a quick reply and so a meeting isn’t always necessary.”

Strategic ICT Co-ordinator at secondary school, Herefordshire

“We have also started using Reggie® as a way for the SLT to monitor attendance. They can log in to the app on their own devices, which allows them to get an overview of attendance for the current and previous days.”

IT Manager at secondary school, Worcestershire

“The visual representation of the data really helps a teacher plan and organise the room to maximise learning opportunities and, if required, make changes quickly and easily. A real winner!”

Deputy headteacher at school and sports college, Bolton

“10 out of 10 for all things, very impressed with it, it has saved staff time and made it easy to collate information from lots of staff.”

Staff at academy, Nottingham

“…extremely well received by both staff and parents… used extensively by staff on a daily basis…”

Assistant Headteacher at secondary school, Bolton

“Truancy call is by far one of the easiest and most user-friendly systems for first day calling – I have been using the system for over 10 years and in that time have been asked to try others – I haven’t found any that are as good or help us account for all our students so quickly each day. I particularly like the feature that allows for letter sending so easily too”

Victoria Howe (Attendance Officer) at The Priory, Church of England School, Surrey

“There wasn’t anything on the market that offered the flexibility we needed and that met the requirements of our staff. Instead we relied on manually gathering this information in Excel spreadsheets and SIMS which was time-consuming and made it difficult to extract real value.”

Kevin Barnett, Centre Director at Freemantle Church of England Community Academy.

“Truancy Call has undoubtedly helped us achieve some of the best attendance rates in Bedfordshire (95.2%)”

Headteacher at Newnham Middle School, Bedfordshire

“This technology has helped us to contact parents a lot more efficiently.  Previously we had to call all the parents individually, now we simply press a button and Call Parents does the job for us!  A text message is not only immediate, it is easy to read and less formal than a letter, so it allows us to engage with parents who are otherwise hard to reach.”

Deputy Head at Alexandra High School

“One of the main difficulties that schools face is reluctance from young people to report bullying face-to- face or in school. So providing them with a way of telling someone when they are away from school or at home is important and this technology is now making it easier for young people to report bullying from the safety of their home.”

Joe Dawson Principal Educational Psychologist at Leicester City Council

“The parents love it and so do we.”

Headteacher at Primary School in Denbighshire

“We don’t have a great deal of bullying reported but it is dealt with quickly. The work we do with the technology and the assemblies is to raise awareness of the different kinds of bullying and to explain to pupils the difference between simply falling out with a friend and sustained bullying.”

Martin Ebbage Deputy Headteacher at Tuton Hall School

“Our parents are far happier receiving communications through Call Parents. It’s much better than pieces of paper that can get lost or dog-eared – and it’s more secure. Before using it, we wouldn’t get replies from many parents and we spent a lot of time chasing them up, but now we are guaranteed a much higher level of response. Ultimately we need 100% replies and we get that far more quickly now. We are quite a traditional school so it’s important for us to use new technology – with hindsight perhaps we should have adopted it sooner!”

Val Mathews, Marketing Manager at Seaton House School

“…ensure that no child ‘slips through the net’…”

Project Manager at local authority

“I have been using Truancy Call and Call Parents for a number of years now and would agree emphatically that you provide a solid and reliable service.”

Attendance and Admissions Manager at secondary school, Derby