School Governance Team, Privacy Notice

Our contact details

School Governance Team
Department of Education
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Co. Down
BT 19 7PR

Phone Number: 028 9127 9279

Your privacy is important to us, and School Governance Team (SGT) will process your personal data in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

What type of information we collect

We currently collect and process the following categories of personal information:

  • Personal identifiers: Name, address and contact details
  • Your occupation and employer
  • Your school preferences for governor vacancies
  • Your declared conflicts of interest
  • Your applicable knowledge, skills and experience in relation to areas of school business
  • Your declaration that you meet the eligibility criteria for becoming a school governor
  • Your personal opinions or observations about your experience as a governor, the appointment process, suggested improvements, or any other comments made when completing the optional “Governor Exit Questionnaire”.

How we get the personal information and why we have it

The personal information we process is provided through the forms you complete and the supporting documentation that you submit throughout the governor application process. Further information may be received through the completion of the optional “Governor Exit Questionnaire” which is issued to governors on completion of their final term of office, or who resign during their term. Completion of this questionnaire is not mandatory.

What we do with the information we have

The processing of personal information enables SGT to provide a public service to individuals who wish to become a DE governor on a schools’ Board of Governors. This information is used to match candidates to schools, taking account of the locality and school preferences of the candidate and the needs of the school. 

The information provided through the optional “Governor Exit Questionnaire” is being sought to help us identify emerging trends, areas of good practice and opportunities for development.

Under UK GDPR Article 6(1)(e) and Article 10 and DPA Schedule 1 Part 2: Substantial Public Interest Conditions, the lawful basis we rely on for processing this information is: we need it to perform a public task, based in legislation and carried out in the public interest.

This is based on the Department’s statutory duty in regard to the membership of school Board of Governors as prescribed within the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986.

Who the information may be shared with

SGT treats all the data we hold with respect, keeping it secure and confidential. Your personal data will solely be used for the purpose of appointing school governors. Personal data collected or held by SGT will not be disclosed for other purposes.

If selected as a candidate or under consideration for a governor post, SGT may share your details (Name, Address and Skills information) with the relevant school and management authority for comment before a decision or formal offer of appointment is made.

Governor appointments to Voluntary Grammar and Grant Maintained Integrated schools will also be published on the ‘Public Appointments’ page of the Department’s website. Only your name and the school appointed to is listed.

SGT will sometimes be required to share information from returned “Governor Exit Questionnaire” with the relevant managing authorities, e.g. Education Authority or Council for Catholic Maintained Schools. SGT will take all reasonable steps to protect your identity.  This will include, not revealing your name unless we are legally required to provide it.

How we store your personal information

SGT employs a number of physical, electronic, technical and procedural safeguards to protect the privacy and security of your information. SGT handles all information in compliance with the DPA 2018 and the GDPR
and in line with DE data security standards and your personal data is stored on a secure NICS server.

SGT will only keep your personal information for as long as it is necessary, for the purposes for which it was obtained and in line with DE Retention and Disposal Schedules.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

Your right of access

You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.

Your right to rectification

You have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.

Your right to erasure

You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to restriction of processing

You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to object to processing

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to data portability 

You have the right to ask that we transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.

Information Commissioner’s Office guidance on Your Data Protection Rights can be found at:

A guide to individual rights | ICO

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

Please contact us using the details at the top of this notice if you wish to make a request.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with how any aspect of this privacy notice, or how your personal information is being processed, please contact:

Department of Education’s Data Protection Officer, Mr Alan Macdonald on 028 9127 9788.

You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline telephone number: 0303 123 1113

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