Department for Education

Who we are

This work is being carried out by IFF Research which is conducting this series of surveys on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE). For the purpose of data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for the personal data processed as part of this project.

How we will use your information

We receive your personal data from the information you provide in the short surveys you complete as part of this project. These surveys are carried out on behalf of the department by IFF Research.

We will also receive some personal data from the National Pupil Database (NPD), a key DfE data store which covers education, skills and children services data for individual learners.

The aim for this project is to help the department understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and young people’s education, wellbeing and lives.  This will have public benefit, as it will provide the department with the evidence it needs in to make evidence-based policy decisions. Understanding the perspectives of children and parents will help us better support families and children’s’ education during this time.

The nature of your personal data we will be using

The categories of your personal data that we will be using for this project are:

  • your full name
  • gender
  • age
  • email address
  • ethnic origin
  • health data
  • medical conditions
  • free school meal eligibility
  • home life
  • you/your family’s financial and employment situation

Why our use of your personal data is lawful

In order for our use of your personal data to be lawful, we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation. For the purpose of this project, the relevant conditions are:

  • Article 6(1)(e) GDPR, to perform a public task as part of our function as a department.
  • Article 9 (2)(g) under the substantial public interest condition.

In addition, general powers granted under the Coronavirus Act 2020, and in particular S37, gives the Secretary of State for Education the power to temporarily close educational institutions. It is therefore necessary for the department to process this data to understand the perspective of children and parents on how COVID-19 has affected them in order to support the department’s objectives to provide world-class education, training and care for all children and young people.

Who we will make your personal data available to

We sometimes need to use other research organisations to help us deliver large pieces of work. In such instances we have a contract with these organisations. For the purposes of this project our contracted partner IFF Research has been employed to process your personal data on our behalf.

How long we will keep your personal data

The DfE will keep an anonymised version of your personal data for future analysis, as per the GDPR exemption on retaining personal data used for scientific, or historical research purposes in accordance with Article 89(1).

We will retain contact details for up to five years to allow for future follow-up research. This will likely take place about one or two years after the original project to track outcomes of those who took part in the research.

Your data protection rights

More information about how the DfE handles personal information is published here:

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you are entitled to ask if we hold information relating to you and ask for a copy, by making a ‘subject access request’.

For further information and how to request your data, please use the ‘contact form’ in the Personal Information Charter under the ‘How to find out what personal information we hold about you’ section.

If you need to contact us regarding any of the above, please do so via the DfE site.

Further information about your data protection rights appears on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Last updated

We may need to update this privacy notice periodically so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated on 12/08/2020 and republished on the IFF Research website with permission.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about how your personal information will be used, please contact us and enter COVID-19 Parent and Pupil Panel as a reference. For the Data Protection Officer (DPO) please contact us and mark it for the attention of the ‘DPO’.

To take the survey

If you would like to take part in the survey, please use the link and log in ID provided in the invitation email.