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Downside School (the School) is registered in England and Wales under the Companies Act (company number: 11751009) and registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (registration number: 1184700). Its address is Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Bath, BA3 4RJ.


This Privacy Notice is intended to provide information about how the School will use (or ‘process’) personal data about individuals including: its staff; its current, past and prospective pupils; and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this privacy notice as ‘parents’); contractors and suppliers; donors; friends and supporters; and any other individuals connected to or visiting the School.

This information is provided because Data Protection Law gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. Staff, parents and pupils are all encouraged to read this Privacy Notice and understand the School’s obligations to its entire community.  However, the School has a separate Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notice applicable to staff.

This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information the School may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data via an online or paper form.

This Privacy Notice also applies in addition to the School’s other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:

  • any contract between the School and its staff or the parents of pupils;
  • any policies or notices applicable to staff concerning the handling of personal data;
  • the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • the School’s monitoring policy;
  • the School’s records’ retention policy;
  • the School’s safeguarding, pastoral, or health and safety policies, including as to how concerns or incidents are recorded; and
  • the School’s ICT policies, including its Acceptable Use policy, eSafety and Social Media policy, Bring Your Own Device policy and remote working guidance.

Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of, the School (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) should also be aware of and comply with this Privacy Notice, which also provides further information about how personal data about those individuals will be used.  Training will be provided commensurate with individual roles.


The School’s Data Compliance Lead is the Director of Human Resources who will deal with all your requests and enquiries concerning the School’s uses of your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law. The School’s Data Compliance Lead may be contacted by email at; by telephone at 01761 235100; or by post at Downside School, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Bath, BA3 4RJ.


In order to carry out its ordinary duties to staff, pupils and parents, the School needs to process a wide range of personal data about individuals (including current, past and prospective staff, pupils or parents) as part of its daily operation.

Some of this activity the School will need to carry out in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its staff, or parents of its pupils.

Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with the School’s legitimate interests, or the legitimate interests of another, provided that these are not outweighed by the impact on individuals, and provided it does not involve special or sensitive types of data.

The School expects that the following uses will fall within that category of its (or its community’s) ‘legitimate interests’:

  • for the purposes of pupil selection, to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents, and retain a record if appropriate for the purposes of future applications or openings;
  • to provide education services, including musical education, physical training or spiritual development, career services, and co-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils’ progress and educational needs, including where such services are provided remotely (either temporarily or permanently);
  • maintaining relationships with alumni and the School community, including direct marketing or fundraising activity;
  • for the purposes of donor due diligence, and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background and relevant interests, such as through the exercise of wealth screening;
  • for the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law (such as tax, diversity or gender pay gap analysis);
  • to enable relevant authorities to monitor the School’s performance and to intervene or assist with incidents as appropriate;
  • to give and receive information and references about past, current and prospective pupils, including relating to outstanding fees or payment history, to/from any educational institution that the pupil attended or where it is proposed they attend; and to provide references to potential employers of past pupils;
  • to enable pupils to take part in national or other assessments, and to publish the results of public examinations or other achievements of pupils of the School;
  • to safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care;
  • to monitor (as appropriate) use of the School’s ICT and communications systems in accordance with the School’s ICT Acceptable Use Policy;
  • to make use of photographic images of pupils in School publications, on the School website and (where appropriate) on the School’s social media channels in accordance with the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • for security purposes, including monitoring in accordance with the School’s monitoring policy;
  • to carry out or cooperate with any School or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process; and
  • where otherwise reasonably necessary for the School’s purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the School.

In addition, the School will on occasion need to process special category personal data (concerning health, ethnicity, religion, biometrics or sexual life) or criminal records information (such as when carrying out DBS checks) in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including as regards safeguarding and employment, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. These reasons will include:

  • to safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral (and where necessary, medical) care, and to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency, incident or accident, including by disclosing details of an individual’s medical condition or other information where it is in the individual’s interests to do so: for example for medical advice, for social protection, safeguarding and cooperation with police or social services, for insurance purposes or to caterers or organisers of School trips who need to be aware of dietary or medical needs;
  • to comply with public health requirements in respect of Covid-19 (or similar) testing: including managing on-site testing and/or processing the results of tests taken by pupils or other members of the School community, and sharing this information with relevant health authorities;
  • to provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
  • to provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs;
  • in connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, welfare, union membership or pension plans;
  • to run any of its systems that operate on biometric data, such as for security and other forms of pupil identification (registration etc.);
  • as part of any School or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process that involves such data, for example if there are SEND, health or safeguarding elements;
  • for legal and regulatory purposes (for example child protection, diversity monitoring and health and safety) and to comply with its legal obligations and duties of care.


This will include by way of example:

  • names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
  • car details (about those who use our car parking facilities);
  • bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents and other people who pay fees to the School, and any anti-money laundering information we are required to collect by law;
  • past, present and prospective pupils’ academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
  • personnel files, including in connection with employment or safeguarding;
  • nationality and other immigration status information (e.g. right to work/study), including full copies of passport information and any other documents required in line with our UKVI sponsor licence holder status;
  • where appropriate, information about individuals’ health and welfare, and contact details for their next of kin;
  • references given or received by the School about pupils, and relevant information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils;
  • correspondence with and concerning staff, pupils, and parents (past and present); and
  • images of pupils (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in School activities, and images captured by the School’s CCTV system (in accordance with the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children).


Generally, the School receives personal data from the individual directly (including, in the case of pupils, from their parents). This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication (such as email or written assessments).However, in some cases personal data will be supplied by third parties (for example another School, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources such as through the exercise of wealth screening.


Processing by third parties. For the most part, personal data collected by the school will remain within the school and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). However, some functions are outsourced including e.g. catering, GP services, pupil sponsor licence compliance and cloud storage. In accordance with Data Protection Law, this type of external data processing is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and used only in accordance with the School’s specific directions.

Data sharing. Occasionally, the school – including its governing board – will need to share personal information relating to its community of staff, pupils and parents with third parties, such as:

  • appropriate contractors, such as visiting teachers or coaches e.g. music or sports;
  • professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
  • examination boards;
  • Stage 3 complaints panels, which will include independent panel members;
  • third parties and their advisers in the event of a possible or actual sale, merger or other restructuring of the school; and
  • government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, CAFCASS, police, Home Office, a relevant public health / NHS body and / or local authority) and/or appropriate regulatory bodies g. the Teaching Regulation Agency, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and the Charity Commission.
  • Occasionally the school governing body will need to process parent or pupil information, such as when a complaint is raised (and in accordance with the School Complaints Procedure, this may also require the involvement of independent panel members).

Access to sensitive data.   Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of “special category” data, most notably:

  • medical records; and
  • pastoral or safeguarding files.

Medical data. The School needs to process such information to comply with statutory duties and to keep pupils and others safe, but the school will ensure only authorised staff can access information on a need-to-know basis. This may include wider dissemination if needed for school trips or for catering purposes. Express consent will be sought where appropriate.

However, a certain amount of any SEND pupil’s relevant information will need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires.

Safeguarding data. Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the school is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance (including Keeping Children Safe in Education [KCSIE])to record or report incidents and concerns that arise or are reported to it, in some cases regardless of whether they are proven, if they meet a certain threshold of seriousness in their nature or regularity. This is likely to include file notes on personnel or safeguarding files, [low-level concerns records kept about adults], and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the LADO or police.

KCSIE also requires that, whenever a child leaves the School to join another school or college, his or her child protection file is promptly provided to the new organisation. The school will retain a copy in accordance with its retention policy for material related to safeguarding matters.

For further information about this, please view the School’s Safeguarding Policies and Procedures, including those for low-level concerns.


The School will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep for a legitimate and lawful reason. The School’s Records Retention Policy sets out the arrangements for record retention and if you have any specific queries about how our policy is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact the School’s Data Compliance Lead. However, please bear in mind that the School will have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such request.

A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes.  Even where you have requested we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of the fact in order to fulfil your wishes (called a “suppression record”). 


The School and/or any relevant other organisation will use the contact details of parents, alumni and other members of the School community to keep them updated about the activities of the School, or alumni and parent events of interest, including sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the School will also:

  • share personal data about parents and/or alumni, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the School community, such as the Old Gregorian Society or the Parents’ Association;
  • contact parents and/or alumni (including via the organisations above) by post and email in order to promote and raise funds for the School and where appropriate, other worthy causes;
  • collect information from publicly available sources about parents’ and former pupils’ occupation and activities, in order to maximise the school’s fundraising potential.

Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the School’s Data Compliance Lead in writing. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the School is nonetheless likely to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).


Individuals have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand personal data about them held by the School, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or have it transferred to others, or for the School to stop processing it – but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.

Any individual wishing to access or amend their personal data, or wishing it to be transferred to another person or organisation, should put their request in writing to the School’s Data Compliance Lead who may be contacted by email at; by telephone at 01761 235100; or by post at Downside School, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Bath, BA3 4RJ.

The School will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within statutory time-limits, (which is one month, but actually fulfilling complex or multiple requests e.g. those involving third party information, may take 1-2 months longer).

Rights of access

The School will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information. If the request for information is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the School may ask you to reconsider or require a proportionate fee (but only where Data Protection Law allows it, and in accordance with relevant regulatory guidance).

If you consider that the personal data we hold on you is inaccurate, please let us know.  However, the school will not necessarily delete or amend views, opinions, notes or records purely on the request of an individual who disputes the account, although we may keep a record of all parties’ viewpoints.

Requests that cannot be fulfilled

You should be aware that GDPR rights (including the right of access) are limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt. This will include information which identifies other individuals (and parents need to be aware this may include their own children, in certain limited situations – [please see further below]), or information which is subject to legal privilege (for example legal advice given to or sought by the School, or documents prepared in connection with a legal action).

The School is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (or other information consisting solely of pupil test answers, potentially including in mock exam scripts or other types of exams / tests used to assess performance – although markers’ comments may still be disclosable if they constitute pupil personal data).  The School is also not required to provide examination or other test marks ahead of any ordinary publication date, nor share any confidential reference given by the School that was (or will be) give for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.

[These exemptions necessarily apply also to the context of teacher-assessed grades, where required in the absence of formal public examinations due to pandemic conditions.  Please refer to our separate exam information communications which explains what information will be provided to all relevant pupils, and when, in respect of their grades].

You may have heard of the ‘right to be forgotten’. However, we will sometimes have compelling reasons to refuse specific requests to amend, delete or stop processing your (or your child’s) personal data; for example, a legal requirement, or where it falls within a legitimate interest identified in this Privacy Notice. Generally, if the School still considers the processing of the personal data to be necessary, it is entitled to continue.  All such requests will be considered on their own merits.

Requests by or on behalf of Pupils

Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the School, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making (see section Whose Rights? below). A pupil of any age may ask a parent or other representative to make a subject access request on their behalf.

While a person with parental responsibility will generally be expected to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the law still considers the information in question to be the child’s.  For older pupils, the parent making the request may need to evidence their child’s authority for the specific request.  Requests not considered in the child’s best interests may sometimes be refused.

Pupils aged 12/13 and above are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested, including any relevant circumstances at home. Slightly younger children may however be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision depending on the child and the circumstances.

Parental requests

It should be clearly understood that the rules on subject access are not the sole basis on which information requests are handled. Parents may not have a statutory right to information, but they and others will often have a legitimate interest or expectation in receiving certain information about pupils without their consent. The School may consider there are lawful grounds for sharing with or without reference to that pupil.

Parents will in general receive educational and pastoral updates about their children in accordance with the Parent Contract. Where parents are separated, the School will in most cases aim to provide the same information to each person with parental responsibility, but may need to factor in all the circumstances including the express wishes of the child and any other mitigating circumstances.

All information requests from, on behalf of, or concerning pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Where the School is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time (subject to similar age considerations as above). Please be aware however that the School may not be relying on consent but have another lawful reason to process the personal data in question even without your consent.

That reason will usually have been asserted under this Privacy Notice, or may otherwise exist under some form of contract or agreement with the individual (e.g. an employment or parent contract, or because a purchase of goods, services or membership of an organisation has been requested).

Whose rights?

The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the School will often rely on parental authority or notice for the necessary ways it processes personal data relating to pupils – for example, under the parents’ contract, or via a form. Parents and pupils should be aware that this is not necessarily the same as the School relying on strict consent (see section on Consent above).

When consent is required, it may in some cases be necessary or more appropriate, given the nature of the processing in question and the pupil’s age and understanding, to seek the pupil’s consent.  Parents should be aware that in such situations they may not be consulted, depending on the interests of the child, the parents’ rights at law or under their contract, and all the circumstances.

In general, the School will assume that pupils’ consent is not required for ordinary disclosure of their personal data to their parents; e.g. for the purposes of keeping parents informed about the pupil’s activities, progress and behaviour, and in the interests of the pupil’s welfare. That is, unless, in the School’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise.

However, where a pupil seeks to raise concerns confidentially with a member of staff and expressly withholds their agreement to their personal data being disclosed to their parents, the School may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the School’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise; for example where the School believes disclosure will be in the best interests of the pupil or other pupils, or if required by law.

Pupils are required to respect the personal data and privacy of others, and to comply with the School’s policies (including the ICT Acceptable User Policy) and the School rules. Staff are under professional duties to do the same covered under the Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook and associated guidance and policies issued from time to time.


The School will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Individuals must please notify the Head’s PA by email of any changes to information held about them.  Staff should notify any changes to

An individual has the right to request that any inaccurate or out-of-date information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law): please see above for details of why the School may need to process your data and who you may contact if you disagree.

The School will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to School systems. All staff and governors will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.


The School will update this Privacy Notice from time to time.  Any substantial changes that affect your rights will be provided to you directly as far as is reasonably practicable.


Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the School’s Data Compliance Lead.

If an individual believes that the School has not complied with this policy or acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise the School’s complaints / grievance procedure and should also notify the School’s Data Compliance Lead at  or Downside School, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Bath, BA3 4RJ.

You can also make a referral to or lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with the School before involving the regulator.

We may need to disclose your data to appropriate persons where required by law.

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware Downside is not responsible for the privacy policy of other websites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by

Version: 2023

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Privacy Policy