Portsmouth City Council Privacy Notice

How we use schools workforce information

Portsmouth City Council is the Data Controller for the use of personal data in this privacy notice

The categories of schools workforce information that we process include:
  • personal information (such as name, employee or teacher number, national insurance number)
  • characteristics information (such as gender, age, ethnic group)
  • contract information (such as start date, hours worked, post, roles and salary information)
  • work absence information (such as number of absences and reasons)
  • qualifications (and, where relevant, subjects taught)
  • relevant health information such as disabilities and special needs
  • addresses and other payroll information.

This list is not exhaustive, to access the current list of categories of information we process, please see the council’s Data Protection Privacy Notice.

Why we collect and use workforce information

We use workforce data to:

(a) enable the development of a comprehensive picture of the workforce and how it is deployed

(b) inform the development of recruitment and retention policies

(c) administer the payroll and enable individuals to be paid

(d) maintain sickness records and manage absences

(e) monitor equal opportunities

(f) make provision for disabilities or special needs.

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the legal basis / bases we rely on for processing personal information for general purposes are:

Article 6(1)(b) “processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract”

For the purposes of statutory data collections and workforce reporting, the legal basis is:

Article 6(1)(c) “processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.”

The legal basis for using workforce information for workforce planning purposes is:

Article 6(1)(e) “processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”.

In addition, concerning any special category data, the conditions under UK GDPR – Article 9 are:

Article 9(2)(a) the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing of those personal data for one or more specified purposes


Article 9(2)(b) processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law


Article 9(2)(h) processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services.

Collecting workforce information

We collect personal information from staff contracts, from our payroll system and from application forms. Additional information for the school workforce census may be gathered verbally.

Workforce data is essential for the council’s operational use. Whilst the majority of personal information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is requested on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with UK 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 workforce information

We hold data securely for the set amount of time shown in our data retention schedule. For more information on the council’s data retention schedule and how the council keeps your data safe, please visit the council’s website and search for ‘retention schedule’ or ‘data protection’

Who we share workforce information with

We routinely share this information with:

  • the Department for Education (DfE).
Why we share school workforce information

We do not share information about school workforce members with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.

When we share information about school workforce members this is to collect and report on school workforce information and provide workforce services on behalf of schools such as payroll.

We are required to share information about school workforce members under section 5 of the Education (Supply of Information about the School Workforce) (England) Regulations 2007 and amendments.

The council will share workforce information for statutory reporting and inspection purposes with the DfE and with Ofsted.

The council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information they hold about you for the prevention and detection of fraud.   It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.  For further information go to www.portsmouth.gov.uk and search for ‘National Fraud Initiative’.

Department for Education

The Department for Education (DfE) collects personal data from educational settings and local authorities via various statutory data collections. We are required to share information about our school workforce with the Department for Education (DfE) for the purpose of the School Workforce Census which is a statutory return under sections 113 and 114 of the Education Act 2005.

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.

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, you have the right to request access to information about you that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, contact the council’s Information Governance Team at: dataprotection@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

You also have the right:

  • to ask us for access to information about you that we hold
  • 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 our processing of your personal data (i.e. permitting its storage but no further processing)
  • to object to direct marketing (including profiling) and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics
  • not to be subject to decisions based purely on automated processing where it produces a legal or similarly significant effect on you

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we ask that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.

For further information on how to request access to personal information held centrally by DfE, please see the ‘How Government uses your data’ section of this notice.

Last updated

We may need to update this privacy notice periodically, so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated on 12/10/2022.


If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact the council’s Information Governance Team at: dataprotection@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

How Government uses your data

The workforce data that we lawfully share with the Department for Education (DfE) through data collections:

  • informs the Department for Education (DfE) policy on pay and the monitoring of the effectiveness and diversity of the school workforce
  • links to school funding and expenditure
  • supports ‘longer term’ research and monitoring of educational policy
Data collection requirements

To find out more about the data collection requirements placed on us by the Department for Education including the data that we share with them, go to data collection census for schools.

Sharing by the Department

The Department for Education (DfE) may share information about schools workforce employees with third parties who promote the education or well-being of children or the effective deployment of schools workforce staff in England by:

  • conducting research or analysis
  • producing statistics
  • providing information, advice or guidance.

The Department for Education (DfE) has robust processes in place to ensure that the confidentiality of personal data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access to it and its use. Decisions on whether Department for Education (DfE) releases personal data to third parties are subject to a strict approval process and based on a detailed assessment of:

  • who is requesting the data
  • the purpose for which it is required
  • the level and sensitivity of data requested; and
  • the arrangements in place to securely store and handle the data.

To be granted access to school workforce information, organisations must comply with its strict terms and conditions covering the confidentiality and handling of the data, security arrangements and retention and use of the data.

How to find out what personal information DfE hold about you

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018, you’re entitled to ask the Department for Education (DfE):

  • if they are processing your personal data
  • for a description of the data they hold about you
  • the reasons they’re holding it and any recipient it may be disclosed to
  • for a copy of your personal data and any details of its source

If you want to see the personal data held about you by the Department, you should make a ‘subject access request’.  Further information on how to do this can be found within the Department’s personal information charter.

You can contact the Department online.