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Safeguarding and Family Support privacy notice

How we use Children in Need and Children Looked After information

How we use Children in Need and Children Looked After information 

The categories of personal information that we process include:

  • 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)
  • information about foster carers, adopters and family and friends carers for the purpose of assessing their suitability, matching with children and support

This list is not exhaustive. To access the current list of categories of information we process, please see Privacy notice.

Why we collect and use this information

As a Local Authority we ensure that the use of personal/special category data meets all of our legal and statutory duties.
We use personal/special category data to:

  1. support children and young people, and monitor their progress
  2. provide children and young people with pastoral care
  3. assess the quality of our services
  4. evaluate and improve our policies on children’s social care
  5. safeguard and protect children and young people
  6. matching of children to foster carers, adopters and family and friends carers and providing support to them
  7. to contact you and get feedback on our services and strategies, to ensure we can deliver a better service to our service users and
  8. to provide personal budgets for children and young people with SEND

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the lawful bases we rely on for processing personal information are:

  • to fulfil our legal obligations and statutory duties
  • to carry out a task in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority in our capacity as a local authority

Other contracts and agreements set out the terms and conditions of services provided to you by the Children, Employment and Skills directorate.

In addition, we also rely on the following legal bases for processing special category data:

  • Protecting the vital interests of children and young people
  • reasons of substantial public interest
  • Health and Social Care treatment and management

Collecting this information

We collect personal/special category information through various sources including assessments, from other professionals, telephone conversations, email communication, face to face visits, surveys and questionnaires.

Children in need and children looked after information is essential for the local authority’s operational use. Whilst most personal information provided to us is mandatory, there may be some which is requested on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with 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.

Storing personal data

We hold information securely for a specific period of time in-line with the council’s Retention Schedule. Unless specified in the legislation or stated in the Retention Schedule, data will be deleted in line with the Limitation Act 1980 (Section 2). For more information on our retention periods and how we keep your data safe, please see our Retention Schedule

Who we share this information with

We routinely share information with:

  • Government departments such as the Department for Education (DfE), Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Home Office
  • Other council departments such as Adult Social Care teams, Finance departments, etc
  • Commissioned partners/contractors who undertake our work
  • Health providers, such as the NHS
  • Other District/Borough Councils
  • Police for the purposes of fraud and crime prevention
  • Education providers such as schools that a child attends or has attended
  • Other Local Authorities who have contact with a child
  • Regulators, such as Ofsted
  • Support services for a child or a parent
  • Courts for the purpose of any proceedings in relation to a child or adult
  • Any other agency responsible for safeguarding children and young people

Why we share this information

We do not share information about our children in need or children looked after, foster carers, adopters and family and friends carers with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so, which overrides the need for consent to be sought.

The Department for Education

The Department for Education (DfE) collects personal data from educational settings and local authorities through various statutory data collections.

We share children in need and children looked after data 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 government security policy framework. For more information, please see ‘How Government uses your data’ section. 

The Troubled Families Programme Evaluation

Please see the privacy notice for the Troubled Families Programme to find out how we use information about you and your family, to provide you and your family with the help and support you need. The privacy notice also covers how information is used for the national evaluation of the programme.

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 contact

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 to the Information Commissioner’s Office.


If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact:

Leila Ridley – Information Compliance Manager and Data Protection Officer
Information Governance Team
Islington Council
4th Floor, 7 Newington Barrow Way
London N7 7EP

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:

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 How to access Department for Education data extracts.

Sharing by the Department for Education

The law allows the department to share pupils’ personal data with certain third parties, including:

  • schools
  • local authorities
  • researchers
  • 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: how we share pupil and workforce data.

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 DfE External data shares.

If you’d like to contact the DfE, please visit their website

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.