GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation

Contact Group – Readiness Statement

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.

The Contact Group provides parental engagement, data reporting and integration services for education establishments and Local Authorities. Our business heavily relies on integrations with many of the Management Information Systems used in the education sector to collect and control their students’ personal and education-related data. As a trusted processor of school data, we have had a GDPR readiness roadmap in place since the beginning of 2017. GDPR compliance is not an option for us and we are currently readying our business for compliance by the GDPR deadline on the 25th May 2018.

Our staff have been undergoing updated data privacy training to reflect the changing legislation. We have staff who have recognised accreditations EU General Data Protection Regulation Foundation (GDPR F) and EU General Data Protection Regulation Practitioner (GDPR P). We are in the process of appointing a new Data Protection Officer who will be in place early in Q1 2018.

GDPR clearly outlines crucial changes to the data privacy rights of individuals, including the right to be forgotten, the right to move data from one platform to another (portability), the right to restrict data processing and the right not to be subject to automated profiling. Also important for educational establishments are data breach policies, which move to 72-hour reporting cycles. The Contact Group have been refining internal procedures to help with this process, ensuring that all organisations in the data chain work together to provide the best service.

We are enhancing our product development to make sure that data protection by design is an integral part of the process. This includes considering DPIAs for any feature which impacts data privacy. We are also expanding our service to allow education establishments to contribute more to this process.

We are in the process of updating all of our privacy notices and data sharing agreements to reflect the GDPR changes. These include the data we process, our rationale for having it, and if we share it with any other organisation, the information that is shared and for what purpose. This gives education establishments more visibility and control about what is happening to any data that they are authorising us to collect, and any information we collect via our services. We are improving our services to enable schools to see what data we extract, when it was extracted, the consent flow and if we, or any third party used it.

Contact Group is committed to high standards of information security, privacy and transparency. We place a high priority on protecting and managing data in accordance with accepted standards including Cyber Essentials and ISO27001. Contact Group will be fully compliant with applicable GDPR regulations when they take effect in 2018, including as a data processor, while also working closely with our customers and partners to meet contractual obligations for our procedures, products and services.

 

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)

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“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

“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