Privacy Policy

Stoke on Trent College takes the protection of your personal information very seriously. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act, the data controller is Stoke on Trent College.

Last updated: 1 February, 2022

Privacy Notice

Our ICO registration is: Z7457987. The following statements outline the data we collect and why and who this may be shared with.

Throughout this document we refer to Data Protection Legislation, which means the Data Protection Act 2018, which incorporates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016, the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and any legislation implemented in connection with the General Data Protection Regulation, which is the governing legislation that regulates data protection across the EEA. This includes any replacement legislation coming into effect from time to time.

Data We Process – Learners

Learner information (including Prospective Learners)

We will collect and process your name, address, date of birth, gender, nationality, parent/guardian contact names, phone number, email address, learner support needs, medical information, education history, qualifications, references, ethnic origin, employment history, attendance data, and other relevant information for the purposes set out below. We collect your sexual orientation and religion under GDPR Article 9.2b so that we can ensure that you are not discriminated against in any way.

  • Learner application to the College

We will use your details for the fulfilment of the College’s contractual relationship with its Learners and for our public task to deliver education programmes. This includes determining and applying admissions criteria, processing applications for admission, and monitoring overall Learner numbers.

We will ask learners to disclose if they have a learning difficulty or disability. We do this to identify any students who may need additional support and in some cases review whether a student may pose a risk to the safety or security of other students, teachers or our premises. In some cases, we may reject a student’s application due to a disclosure but this is rare and we have a formal process that would meet to review each case before this decision is made.

We will ask for details of any criminal convictions or offences. If a student declares a criminal record or a DBS reveals a criminal record that is likely to cause the student to be unable to complete some mandatory element of the course, a place cannot be offered. This data is kept securely and separate from general learner records and is only available to identified staff from the safeguarding team. If you don’t provide information about a criminal conviction or offense and this is later disclosed to us it may result in removal from a specific course or exclusion from the College.

Parents/guardians, Schools, Colleges, Local Authorities, Youth Support and associated services may contact us to request that we confirm the status of a Learner’s application and the course they have applied for. We will share this information unless you inform us not to by contacting the Admissions Team, email:

  • Learner performance and attendance at the College

We will use your details to fulfil our learning agreement with you and for our public task to deliver education programmes. We will use your information for setting assessments, marking/grading assessments, reviewing marks/grades awarded in response to notifications of mitigating circumstances, conducting meetings of examination boards, determining awards and classifications.

The Learner Services Team will use the information gathered to identify support needs and any required reasonable adjustments. Where appropriate, support plans will be negotiated with the Learners and shared with identified staff to inform teaching and support strategies. The Learner Services Team will receive Education, Health and Care Plans and other educational and/or medical documentation from parents, schools, health professionals and local authorities and will identify College staff who these will need to be shared with.

To enable the Learner Services Team to fully support Learners they may actively contact parents and other relevant professionals to make a request for information relating to educational support needs under GDPR Article 6.1d (Vital Interests) and Article 6.1e (Public Task).  This contact is in order to support your education and learning as fully as possible. For those over age 18 at the start of the academic year, the information is optional. These will be shared with the College to help inform support plans. These plans will be shared with identified academic and support staff.

It is College policy that staff may contact named parents/guardians of Learners under the age of 18 during their course to discuss academic progress, attendance, welfare concerns and conduct. Learners who do not wish the College to make such contact may be granted an exemption by writing to the Principal at the commencement of their course.

  • Work Experience Placements

We will process Learners’ name, date of birth, parent’s details, emergency contact details, course details and any health, well-being and educational needs so that we can facilitate a work experience placement. We will use this information to confirm Learner placement details with their parent and the employer. We will also use the details to conduct risk assessments on placements and monitor attendance.

We will share this personal data with the prospective work experience employer and with Changing Education support the delivery of our work experience programme and provide work experience software.

  • Learner Health and Social Care Information

The College will also ask for information about health problems, such as allergies, conditions such as asthma or diabetes and recording that a Learner is pregnant. We will use this information to cater for special dietary needs, so that we can respect and facilitate a Learner’s religion, for health and safety reasons including prior to taking Learners on a field trip and as part of pastoral duties. This information will be used to inform support plans which will be shared with the appropriate staff.

We may share this personal data with third parties such as another College where a Learner is taking part in an exchange program. Where appropriate we will ask for explicit consent to process this information; however, we may also rely on other legal basis to process this information including processing the data to protect the Learners or another individual’s vital interests.

  • Delivery of services by other providers

The College uses sub-contractors/partners for the delivery of some of its courses and programs. As such these third parties have access to Learner personal details including name, address, date of birth, gender, nationality, parent/guardian contact names, phone number, email address, learner support needs, medical information, education history, qualifications, references, ethnic origin, employment history, attendance data, and other relevant information.

Appropriate contracts will be implemented with these sub-contractors as data processors to ensure they process personal data in line with the law.

  • References

The College may share personal details including name, attendance details, courses completed and results with Higher Education providers and/or employers on receipt of a reference request.

  • Financial Details

We will collect bank details if we need to administer any charges or refunds relating to courses or training programs. We will share your name with the College bank if there is a problem with the payment, and our auditors have access to our payment records.

  • CCTV, Images and Audio Recordings

We may capture your image on our CCTV systems under GDPR Article 6.1f (Legitimate Interests) to ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors, and the protection of our buildings and assets (see our CCTV Policy). The College will also collect your photograph for the purpose of identifying and protecting our Learners, staff and premises. This data may be shared with the Police and other agencies where the College is required or permitted to do so by law.

The College telephone system can be used to record conversations. This may be done for security purposes, for example if a caller is abusive or threatening. If a conversation is recorded, a message will alert the caller. This information may be shared with the Police and other agencies where the College is required or permitted to do so by law.

Your photograph or video may also be taken and used as part of promotion of the College events or activities taking place at the College. You will be informed if photographs or video is being taken so you can refrain from being include if you wish to.

Data We Process – Parent/Guardians information

If your child is under the age of 18 years old at the start of their studies, we require them to provide your (parent/guardian) name, email and phone number. We collect this information to support the communication with potential Learners during the application process and to keep you informed about your child’s performance and attendance.

Data We Process – Job applicants, current and former employees

The information we ask for is used to assess your suitability for employment. You don’t have to provide what we ask for but it might affect your application if you don’t.

  • Application stage

We ask you for your personal details including name and contact details. We will also ask you about your previous experience, education, referees and for answers to questions relevant to the role you have applied for. Our recruitment team will have access to all of this information.

You will also be asked to provide equal opportunities information. This is not mandatory information – if you don’t provide it, it will not affect your application. This information will not be made available to any staff outside of our recruitment team, including hiring managers, in a way which can identify you. Any information you do provide will be used only to produce and monitor equal opportunities statistics.

  • Shortlisting

Our hiring manager’s shortlist applications for interview. They will not be provided with your name or contact details or with your equal opportunities information if you have provided it.

Candidates are asked to provide proof of identity and qualifications at the interview. Photocopies of original documents are only retained if the candidate is successful.

If you are unsuccessful for the position you have applied for, your data will be held for a period of six months in case of any queries regarding the outcome or for feedback purposes.

  • Conditional offer

If we make a conditional offer of employment, we will ask you for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks to progress to a final offer. We are required to confirm the identity of our staff, their right to work in the United Kingdom and assess suitability for the role.

You will therefore be required to provide:

  • Proof of your identity – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies if not already
  • Proof of your qualifications – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies if not already
  • You will be asked to complete a criminal records declaration to declare any unspent
  • We will require you to complete an application for a Criminal Record check via the Disclosure and Barring Service – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies if not already
  • We will contact your referees, using the details you provide in your application, directly to obtain references
  • We will also ask you to complete a questionnaire about your health, which may be reviewed, if necessary, by our Occupational Health Unit. This is to establish your fitness to work.

Upon commencement of your employment, we will also ask you for the following:

  • Bank details – to process salary payments
  • Emergency contact details – so we know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work
  • Employment status for tax code purposes

Our contract of employment requires all staff to declare if they have any potential conflicts of interest, other employment or engagement. If you complete a declaration, the information will be held on your personnel file.

Data We Process – First Steps Nursery

We collect the personal information of you, your child/children and other parents/carers and emergency contacts. This will include name, address, contact details and any medical issues including medication and allergies. We process this information for fulfilment of our contract with you for delivering childcare services.

We will ask for your consent to take photographs of your child/children and for your consent to share these on our website, on social media and in any communications or promotional materials.

We are required by law to share personal information with the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) in the event of any safeguarding concerns.

If you visit our websites

  1. a) We place cookies and text files on your computer to collect data on your behaviour on our websites under GDPR Article 6.1f (Legitimate Interests) so that we can tailor our website content to you and connect with you online

Use of Data Processors

Data processors are third parties who provide elements of our services for us. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct.

The College will only share your data with third parties where there is a legal obligation to do so, including ESFA, OfS, Learner Records Service (LRS), examination bodies, Student Loans Company (SLC) and local authorities.

From time to time, we engage non-statutory third parties to process personal data on our behalf, for example to follow up course applications during busy periods or undertake research.  Where this happens, we require these parties to do so on the basis of written instructions, under a duty of confidentiality and an obligation to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data, and never to use it for their own direct marketing purposes.

International Transfers of Data

Where Learners or staff take part in any international programmes e.g. residential or exchanges their data will be sent overseas (this can include outside of the European Economic Area). Information including: name, address, date of birth or age, emergency contacts, and other relevant information may be shared with any travel organisation e.g. travel agents, hotels or airlines. The information will also be passed to the host school/College/education provider and a host family (where relevant). Staff and Learners will be asked to give their explicit consent to the sharing of data.

If we do this your personal information will continue to be subject to one or more appropriate safeguards set out in the law. These might be the use of model contracts in a form approved by regulators, or having our suppliers sign up to an independent privacy scheme approved by regulators such as the USA Privacy Shield scheme.

Retention of Records

We retain the personal data processed by us for as long as is considered necessary for the purpose for which it was collected (including as required by applicable law or regulation).

As a general guide:

  • Learner (including parent/carer) details: will be retained for 6 years after completion of studies or withdrawal from a course. In some cases for example to comply with UK or European funding rules we are required to keep records for much
  • Nursery children and parents all data will generally be retained for 25 years
  • Employee data: all data will be retained for 6 years with limited data retained until the employee’s 75th birthday (as required for pension administration)

The College has a Retention Schedule that specifically sets out detailed retention timescales. For more information on how long information will be retained please contact our Data Protection Officer.

Your Rights

 Data Protection law provides the following rights for individuals:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erase
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and

You may ask us at any time for information about any personal data we hold about you, or you may request that we correct or delete that information. Where you ask us not to contact you again or to delete information we may need to retain limited information to respect those wishes.

Please Note: We will need to verify your identity before we can fulfil any of your rights under data protection law. This helps us to protect your personal information against fraudulent requests.

Where we are relying on your consent as a condition for processing your personal data you may revoke your consent to the processing of your data by contacting us.

We may disclose your personal information in circumstances where we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is reasonably necessary to comply with the law or we have another legal basis to do so.

How Government uses your data

The student data that we lawfully share with the DfE through data collections:

  • underpins FE funding, which is calculated based upon the numbers of students and their profile
  • informs ‘short term’ education policy monitoring and college accountability and intervention (for example, school GCSE results or Student Progress measures).
  • supports ‘longer term’ research and monitoring of educational policy (for example how certain subject choices go on to affect education or earnings beyond school)

Sharing by the Department

The law allows the Department to share students personal data with certain third parties, including:

  • local authorities
  • researchers
  • organisations connected with promoting the education or wellbeing of children in England
  • other government departments and agencies
  • organisations fighting or identifying crime

Organisations fighting or identifying crime may use their legal powers to contact DfE to request access to individual level information relevant to detecting that crime.

How to find out what personal information DfE hold about you

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018, you are entitled to ask the Department:

  • 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 that is published at the address below:

To contact DfE:

How do we protect your personal information?

The organisation takes the security of your personal information very seriously. We have policies and controls in place to try to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by its employees in the performance of their duties. Our Data Protection Policy is available to view on our website.

Complaints or queries

 Stoke on Trent College tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. If you want to make a complaint about the way we have processed your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer:

In the event you are not satisfied with the use of your personal data you have the right to contact the data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

Changes to this Statement

 Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page.

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