Privacy notice for school staff at independent schools (NFER)

How we protect your data

Why are we collecting this data?

The Department for Education (DfE) has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), in collaboration with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), to collect data for Five to Twelve from 2023 for several years (at least until 2029). Five to Twelve aims to better understand how children’s environment and experiences in early and primary years impact on their educational attainment, wellbeing and development.

Part of NFER’s role is to support the recruitment of parents/carers of pupils in independent schools. This involves contacting a representative sample of independent schools to ask if they would be willing to support the study by sharing materials with parents/carers of pupils in Year 1. Personal data will be collected to communicate with the most appropriate staff member at the school. 

What is the legal basis for processing this data?

For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the DfE is the Data Controller for this study. This means that it is responsible for deciding the purpose and legal basis for processing data from this study. NatCen is the Data Processor. The NFER is acting as a sub-processor. 

The legal basis for processing personal data is ‘public task’.

What personal data will be collected?

NFER will collect personal data for a nominated school staff member, in the form of: name, job title, email address and telephone number.

This information will be collected directly from schools using an online survey.  

How will personal data be used?

Your personal data will only be used to send details of the study for your school to share with parents/carers of pupils in Year 1.  

It will not be used in the study and will not be shared with any of the other research partners.  

Who will personal data be shared with?

NFER will not share the names and contact details of staff members collected as part of this independent school recruitment exercise with any research partners. However, NFER will share with NatCen the schools that are willing to support the study to allow NatCen to set-up an opt-in form for parents/carers to complete should they wish to take part in the study. 

If parents/carers of pupils from your school decide to be involved in the study, then NatCen may contact schools and teachers directly in relation to this study. 

The survey will be managed and run using Questback software. Their privacy policy can be found here:

How will my personal data be stored?

Your data is stored securely at NFER. No personal data is stored or transferred outside of the UK / EEA by NFER.  

How long will we keep your personal data for?

Data is not kept longer than is necessary and is deleted in accordance with NFER’s internal policy. NFER will retain personal data (such as contact details) until the recruitment exercise is complete in May 2024. 

What are my data protection rights?

Under GDPR, you have the right:

  • to request access to information that we hold about you (subject access request) 
  • to have your personal data rectified, if it is inaccurate or incomplete 
  • to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing
  • to restrict processing of your personal data (for example, permitting its storage but no further processing)
  • to object to our processing
  • not to be subject to decisions based purely on automated processing where it produces a legal or similarly significant effect on you. 

Who should I contact about my data protection rights?

Staff at independent schools can withdraw supporting the study/or from their data being used at any time by contacting NFER at

For general queries about the study, please contact the NatCen study team at or the Department for Education (quoting EOPS-B) via

You can also contact the Department for Education Data Protection Officer. Data Protection Officers are responsible for upholding your rights and making sure we process your information correctly.


If you wish to make a subject access request, restrict or object to processing, please contact NFER’s Compliance Officer

If you have a concern about the way this project processes personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance (see the details above). If you remain dissatisfied, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, the body responsible for enforcing data protection legislation in the UK, at

Version control

This privacy notice is updated regularly and was last updated on 07/11/2023.