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Privacy notice - school admissions

Why we need your information

We, St Helens Borough Council, are the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act. We take our responsibility to protect your data seriously and we will use it accordance with the legal requirements of the Act.

The information collected in relation to your school place application allows us to allocate a school place fairly and in accordance with the School Admissions Code 2014. By completing an application you are giving consent for the processing of personal data for the purposes described in this privacy notice.

The type of information that is collected

In order to process applications for school places and school admission appeals the following information is collected:

  • name, date of birth, gender;
  • address where the child ordinarily lives at the time of application;
  • school preferences;
  • reasons for requesting a school place;
  • reasons for appealing against the refusal of a school;
  • supplementary information if required by individual school admission policies including baptism certificates and church attendance records;
  • parent name and contact details;
  • details of siblings;
  • current or last education provision;
  • child looked after status or adoption;
  • whether the child has a Statement of educational need or Education, Health and Care Plan;
  • whether the child has been permanently excluded from or had a fixed-term exclusion at their last education provision;
  • additional information as required under the council's Fair Access Protocol.

Who the information may be shared with (internally and externally)

Agencies we will share the information with:

  • education providers to advise them about upcoming admissions;
  • other local authorities, to enable us to co-ordinate the single offer of a school place;
  • the relevant Fair Access Panel (primary/secondary) to enable them to appropriately place complex admissions;
  • Department for Education to comply with statutory data collections;
  • other teams within the local authority so the school allocation process can be correctly administered (e.g. Council Tax);
  • Independent Admission Appeal Panels;
  • Local Government Ombudsman who investigates maladministration in respect of school admission applications and appeals;
  • local health services in order to support the delivery of local and national health initiatives e.g. child immunisation programmes (in accordance with our Information Sharing Agreement);

We may also use the information you provide for the following purposes:

  • the planning of school places and school organisation proposals;
  • to assist in the development of policy proposals;
  • for the prevention and/or detection of crime or fraud;
  • for research and statistical purposes, where data will be anonymised.

How the information will be used

The information you provide on your school place application form and any supporting papers will be used to:

  • process your application;
  • ensure the efficient co-ordination and fair allocation of school places in accordance with the School Admissions Code and the Local Authority's Fair Access Protocol;
  • consider and process admission appeals;
  • populate our education database in order to run the school allocation process;
  • contact you in relation to your application.

Protecting your information

Your application form and any supporting information will be stored securely by the school admissions team both electronically and in hard copy. Any data shared outside the council will be transferred in a secure, electronic format.

How long we keep your information

  • For children who are subject to child protection or looked after children, information will be retained in accordance with appropriate legislation.
  • For children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan or have had a Statement of Educational Needs, information will be retained until they reach the age of 35 years.
  • For all other children, information will be retained until they are 25 years of age or 15 years after they leave education, whichever is the longest.

How you can, update or correct your information

The accuracy of your information is important to us; if you change your address or if any other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please email us at

The council has a duty under the Data Protection Act 1998 to provide individuals with access to information about themselves on request. The information can be requested by submitting a 'Subject Access Request' to

In the event that you no longer wish us to process the information for the purposes described in this privacy notice, you may withdraw your consent at any time by giving us written notice. You should understand, however, that we may nevertheless need to continue processing some or all of your personal information in accordance with our statutory obligations.

Information Commissioner's Office

You can report concerns about how an organisation is handling your data to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF Tel: 0303 123 1113 or online at