Who are we?

This work is being carried out by IFF Research, in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford – 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 the Longitudinal Study of Child and Family Social Workers; and IFF Research, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford are the data processors.

What is this Research project about?

The aim of this study is to collect robust evidence on recruitment, retention and progression in child and family social work across England. This will help policy makers and employers to establish a much stronger understanding of recruitment issues, career pathways, choices and decisions and how these differ according to demographics, types of local authority and local labour markets. The research project involves a short online/ telephone survey in Autumn (from 2018 until 2022) and a small number of telephone interviews.

How we will use your information

When you first took part in this survey, your employer (Local Authority/Trust) may have shared your work-related contact details (work email address and telephone number) with IFF Research under the terms set out in a Data Sharing Notice, in order for IFF Research to issue you, via email, with a unique link to the online survey. Alternatively, they may have sent you an open link to the survey on behalf of IFF Research.

IFF will receive your personal data from your survey returns and will process and securely store the data that you provide during this research on behalf of DfE. The data you provide during your participation in the research will help DfE to understand the factors influencing recruitment and retention among child and family social workers. Names and contact details will be used to re-contact respondents for participation in follow-up surveys and/ or interviews if you give permission.

Participation in the research is voluntary and participants can withdraw at any point. The data collected will be stored securely, all responses to the surveys will be analysed pseudonymously (no names will be attached) and individual staff and local authorities will not be identified in any reporting. Any personal contact details will be destroyed after use and will not be passed to any other organisation, including DfE.

For more information about IFF Research and its Surveys, follow this link: http://www.iffresearch.com/iff-research-gdpr-policy/

If you have any questions about the practices of this work please contact the IFF Research team by email at: SWResearch@iffresearch.com

The nature of your personal data we will be using

IFF Research will use work-related contact details (work email addresses/telephone numbers) supplied by your employer (Local Authority/Trust), as set out above, to issue you with a unique survey link, the first time you complete the survey. Contact details will be stored securely and only used to contact you in relation to this study.

The categories of your personal data that we will be collecting for this project in your survey responses are:

  • Name and contact details;

We will also be collecting special category data such as:

  • Demographic data including ethnicity, gender and data related to health/ wellbeing.

The personal information that you provide to us in response to this survey will be used for the purpose(s) of:

  • Name and contact details: To establish that we are speaking with the correct person and to recontact for follow-up research if you give permission for us to do so at the end of the survey. The survey will take place annually between 2018 and 2022.
  • Name (ASYE survey only): If you complete a survey as an ASYE but indicate that you do not wish to be recontacted for further research, IFF Research will not recontact you. IFF Research will retain your name (but not your contact details) to look up on the publicly searchable Social Work England database of registered social workers. This information will be used to assess retention among new entrants to the profession. It will be analysed anonymously, by demographic factors and characteristics such as qualification route, which you provided when you first completed the survey. Any reporting of this retention data will be at an aggregate level.
  • Special categories of personal data: To ensure that we speak to a representative cross-section of people and to compare findings across groups, where relevant and appropriate to do so. We collect data on gender, ethnicity and long-term health conditions so that we can identify whether certain groups face any specific workforce or career issues compared to other social workers. Questions on stress and wellbeing are included in the survey to investigate the impact of these factors on social workers’ careers.

Why our use of your personal data is lawful

In order for our use of personal data to be lawful, any processing must be carried out under a valid legal basis as set out in data protection legislation. For the purpose of this project, the relevant legal bases are Section 8 of the Data Protection Act 2018 and Article 6 of the UK GDPR – public task. For the processing of special category data, the relevant condition we are relying on is Article 9 of the UK GDPR – substantial public interest based in law (Article 9(2)(g). The relevant legal power is Section 46 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

In answering the questions and submitting the survey you have given your explicit consent for the processing of your personal and special category data.

You can withdraw your consent at any time, to do this contact: SWResearch@iffresearch.com

Who will your personal data be made available to

For the purpose of this project, your data will be processed by IFF Research on behalf of the DfE.

All survey data that you provide to IFF Research during your participation in the research will undergo a process of pseudonymisation.

The UK GDPR defines pseudonymisation as the processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information, provided that such additional information is kept separately and is subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal data are not attributed to an identified or identifiable natural person. Effectively, this means that the data you provide and that will be used for analysis will have your name and contact details removed as soon as possible. Contact details will be stored separately and securely, in a different file to your survey responses, and will be destroyed 12 months after each wave of fieldwork.

When sharing data with the Department of Education and in published reports, IFF Research will ensure that, through the process of pseudonymisation, no personal identifiable data will be shared.

Survey data from this project may be made available, in an anonymised dataset, to external researchers and academics for research and analysis purposes after the end of the study. This dataset will not include personal details and no one will be able to identify you from the information provided.

How long we will keep your personal data

Personal data will only be retained by IFF Research for as long as needed for the purpose(s) of this piece of work, after which point it will be securely destroyed. This will be 12 months following the completion of each wave of the survey research, for those who do not agree to be recontacted. Survey participants who complete the survey and indicate to IFF Research they are willing to be recontacted will have their personal data stored securely and this will only be used for the purposes of recontacting them for the next stage of the research, and, in the case of ASYEs, for retention analysis using the Social Work England register. All personal contact details will be deleted 12 months after the end of the last wave of survey fieldwork, in March 2024.

Please note that under UK GDPR Article 5(1)(b) and in compliance with the relevant data processing conditions, personal data can be kept for longer periods of time when processed purely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research, and statistical purposes.

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 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.

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 at  SWResearch@iffresearch.com if you wish to make a request.

Further information about your data protection rights appears on the Information Commissioner’s website at: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/principle-6-rights/.

You have the right to raise any concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.

How to complain

If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at SWResearch@iffresearch.com

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 number: 0303 123 1113

If you need to contact IFF regarding any of the above, please do so via this email address: SWResearch@iffresearch.com

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 August 2022.

Contact Info

If you have any questions about how your personal information will be used, please contact IFF via this email address: SWResearch@iffresearch.com

Contact DfE’s Data Protection Officer 

For further information about this Privacy Notice or queries about how DfE handles your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer (Emma Wharram) at DP.ENQUIRIES@education.gov.uk