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Back to school this week? Timetables sorted? Classrooms ready to go? GDPR preparations all in hand?

From teaching, to maintenance, to management, staff will be run off their feet right now, making sure everything is running smoothly for the new term. Yet, come the 25th May 2018, as new data protection regulations become law, staff will need to find some time outside of their schedules to learn about the changes.

Understanding how students’ personal data is affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be essential for the education sector.

What’s changing?

The Data Protection Act 1998 is now almost 20 years old. From 1998 to the present day, the way we use data has changed unrecognisably, despite which, data protection laws have remained largely the same. After years of discussions, the EU has agreed new rules (the GDPR), which aim to return some rights to individuals and more heavily penalise those who fail to comply.

From next May, if a school is found to have suffered a data breach due to GDPR non-compliance (or has failed to report a breach appropriately) they could be on the receiving end of a fine to the value of €20m or 4% of your annual revenue (whichever is higher).

What do schools need to do?

Firstly, you need to map out the data you hold for students – a key first step in identifying how your school will be affected by the changes. In some cases, significant changes to the structure of your student’s data and the way it’s processed will be needed. Other schools may well be following appropriate procedure already.

You have a duty of care to ensure data is stored safely and securely, but this responsibility increases more so under GDPR. The ICO and OFSTED both intend to come down hard on organisations not complying, so the need for a deep understanding of the required action is most definitely needed.

Need help? Me Learning has partnered with specialist law firm Clayden Law to develop a series of high quality, tailored e-learning courses to ensure schools understand and comply with GDPR.

Why not find out more or call 01273 499100 for a chat.

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