Privacy Policy

Who we are

Old Palace of John Whitgift School (“the School”) is a member of The Whitgift Foundation, a registered charity (number 312612), with Head Office at North End, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SS. The Foundation encompasses J W Educational Ltd, Company Number 03470213, with the same registered address. JW Educational Ltd runs the Whitgift School Shop and Whitgift Health Club. A separate Privacy Notice is provided for J W Educational Ltd.

The Whitgift Foundation is registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller. It is committed to complying with all aspects of data protection and its responsibilities under both the General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679) and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 (“Data Protection Law”).

This Privacy Notice relates specifically to Old Palace of John Whitgift School and to its community, to include all staff, contractors, contacts, parents and pupils. An age appropriate version will be provided to pupils in Reception to Year 5.

The School is not a separate legal entity to the Whitgift Foundation. Reference in the Privacy Notice to the School shall include the Whitgift Foundation.

There are separate Privacy Notices for the Old Palace Alumnae association and the Old Palace Parent Teachers’ Association.

What is this Privacy Notice used for?

This notice is intended to provide information about how the School will use (or “process”) personal data about individuals including: its current, past and prospective pupils; and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this policy as “parents”).

This information is provided because Data Protection Law gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. Parents and pupils are all encouraged to read this and the other Privacy Notices to understand the School’s obligations to its entire community.

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 the Whitgift Foundation and the parents of pupils;
  • the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children and use of CCTV;
  • the School’s retention of records policy;
  • the School’s safeguarding, pastoral, or health and safety policies, including how concerns or incidents are recorded; and
  • the School’s IT policies.
  • the Whitgift Foundation’s Employee Privacy Statement and the Whitgift Foundation’s Data
  • Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of, the school should be aware of and comply with the Whitgift Foundation’s Employee Privacy Statement and the Whitgift Foundation’s Data

Protection Policy, which provides further information about how personal data about individuals will be used.

Responsibility for Data Protection

The Whitgift Foundation has appointed its Chief Executive as the Data Protection Officer for the Whitgift Foundation and its associated bodies, including the School.

The School has appointed the School Information Manager to deal with your requests and enquiries concerning the school’s uses of your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and who will endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law.

The School Information Manager can be contacted through the School Office at via the School switchboard on 0208 688 2027 or by post at Old Palace of John Whitgift School, Old Palace Road, Croydon, CR0 1AX.

Why the school needs to process data internally

The school needs to process a wide range of personal data about individuals as part of its daily operation, in order to carry out its ordinary duties to pupils and parents, and to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations.

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.

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

  • For the purposes of pupil selection (and to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents);
  • To provide education services, including musical education, physical training or spiritual development, career services, and extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils’ progress and educational needs;
  • Maintaining direct relationships between alumni and the wider school community for the education of current pupils;;
  • For the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law;
  • 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 that which relates 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 IT and communications systems in
  • accordance with the School’s IT acceptable use policy;
  • To make use of photographic images of pupils in school publications, on the School and/or the Whitgift Foundation websites and (where appropriate) on related social media channels in accordance with the School’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • For security purposes, including CCTV;
  • To carry out an investigation following any complaint;
  • Obtaining appropriate professional advice and any other situation where the School believes it has an interest; and
  • Where otherwise necessary for the School’s purposes.
  • In addition, the School will need to process special category personal data in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including safeguarding, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. Examples of special category personal data include health, race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual life or sexual orientation.
  • The reasons for processing may include:
  • To safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral (and where necessary, medical) care. 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 relevant information where it is in the individual’s interests to do so. Examples include 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 made aware of dietary or medical needs;
  • To provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
  • 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; or
  • 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.

Types of personal data processed by the school

The following list provides some examples of the types of personal data. Please note the list is not exhaustive.

  • 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 who pay fees to the Whitgift Foundation;
  • past, present and prospective pupils’ academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
  • personnel files;
  • information about individuals’ health and welfare;
  • references given or received by the School. 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.

How the school collects data

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).

Who has access to personal data and who the school shares it with

Occasionally, the School will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as:

  • professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
  • government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, police or the local authority);
  • appropriate regulatory bodies e.g. the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and Ofsted;
  • and,
  • sharing with examination boards, third party consultants, providers of education
  • services (e.g. peri teachers).
  • Data is shared with the School’s alumni association, Old Palace Alumnae, under a Data Sharing Agreement.
  • Data is shared between the Whitgift Foundation and the School to enable efficient running of the School.
  • For the most part, personal data collected by the School will remain within the School, and be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of:
  • Relevant medical information provided by the parents/carers or directly by the pupils;
  • medical records (held and accessed only by the Health Officer, Senior Leadership Team and the School Information Manager; or otherwise in accordance with express
  • consent); and
  • pastoral or safeguarding files, where access is strictly limited to the Head of the School
  • and the School Pastoral Manager.

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

Pupils and parents are reminded that the School is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance (including Keeping Children Safe in Education) 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 safeguarding files, and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the LADO or police. For further information about this, please view the School’s Safeguarding Policy.

Finally, in accordance with Data Protection Law, some of the School’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, web developers or cloud storage providers. This is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the School’s specific directions.

How long we keep personal data

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 keeps personal data in line with the retention schedule provided in the Whitgift Foundation Data Protection Policy. A copy of this can be provided on request. This includes incident reports and safeguarding files.

If you have any specific queries about how our retention 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 Information Manager. However, please bear in mind that the School will often have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such request.

For example, a limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes. 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”).

Keeping in touch and supporting the school

Current School Community (including prospective pupils)

The School and the Whitgift Foundation will use the contact details of parents and other members of the current school community to communicate educational and extra-curricular events and opportunities provided as part of the educational services offered by the School, progress and well-being of pupils (in the form of regular reports or other relevant correspondence), to communicate regarding compliance with the School or Whitgift Foundation policies, parent contract terms and conditions (including correspondence relating to fees), or legislation. Contact details will be used, if necessary, to ensure safeguarding of pupils (for example, to request clarification of an unauthorised absence). Communication could take the form of one or more of electronic SMS messages, email or telephone calls.

In addition, the School and the Whitgift Foundation will use the contact details of parents to communicate and keep them updated about the activities of the School, or parent events of interest, by sending updates and newsletters, by email or by post.

Old Palace Alumnae and Wider School Community

By consent, the School and the Whitgift Foundation will use the contact details of alumnae, and members of the wider school community, to keep them updated about the activities of the School, or alumnae events of interest, by sending updates and newsletters, by email or by post.

Unless the relevant individual objects, the School will also:

  • Share personal data about parents and/or alumnae, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the school community, such as the Old Palace Alumnae or the Old Palace Parent Teacher Association;
  • Contact parents and/or alumnae (including via the organisations above) by post and email in order to promote and raise funds for the School;
  • Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact the School Information Manager 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).

Your rights

Rights of access, etc.

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, or who has some other objection to how their personal data is used, should put their request in writing to the School Information Manager.

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 in the case of requests for access to information).

Requests that cannot be fulfilled

You should be aware that the right of access is limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt from the right of access. 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), provide examination or other test marks ahead of any ordinary publication, nor share any confidential reference given by the school itself for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.

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. All such requests will be considered on their own merits.

Pupil requests

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 his/her behalf.

Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled 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.

Pupils at the Senior School of Old Palace are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested. Pupils at the Prep School of Old Palace may be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision, depending on the child and the circumstances. The normal assumption however will be that they do not.

Parental requests, etc.

It should be 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. All information requests from, on behalf of, or concerning pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will 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). Examples where we rely on consent include:

  • the use of certain types of images, or the use of images in bespoke (but appropriate) publications or marketing;
  • fundraising;
  • resource requests, voluntary time requests, or other requests to our community which
  • ultimately benefit the School;
  • subscription services or engagement with other activities, such as competitions, which
  • we consider to be of benefit to our pupils (for example,

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. a parent contract, or because a purchase of goods, services or membership of an organisation such as the alumnae or parents’ association 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 parent 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).

Where consent is required, it may in some cases be necessary or 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 Data Protection Policy, Image Use Policy, Online Safety Policy (including the Acceptable Use Policy) and the school rules.

Data accuracy and security

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 notify the School Office of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them.

An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate 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 whom 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.

This policy

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.

Queries and complaints

Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the School Information Manager via the School Office.

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 Complaints procedure and notify the School Information Manager. 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.

8th November 2018 (v3)