(updated August 2018)
1.0 Governing Principles
1.2 The School Psychology Service Ltd will manage psychological records with great concern for privacy and confidentiality and in accordance with current professional and legal standards, including the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. The GDPR requires us to identify the legal basis upon which we process your personal data. We will proceed with your assessment and all associated activity on the basis of an agreed contract and our legitimate interest to hold and process your personal data.
1.3 Contract: we need to process personal data in order to fulfil our contractual obligations to undertake a psychological assessment, which you have agreed for us to do. We will process all personal data that you share with us for the purpose of the assessment and will do so lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Therefore, processing of personal data is necessary if we are to fulfil our contract with you.
1.4 Legitimate interest: the intended purpose for processing personal data is to conduct a psychological assessment. Educational Psychology assessments involve the processing of special category data, including information, for example, about health, educational achievements, cognitive functioning, personality, interests and family history. Depending upon the nature of the contract with you, we have a legitimate interest to collect such personal data for the purpose of forming a professional opinion or diagnosis. In doing so, we will only collect information from you that is relevant to the purpose of undertaking that assessment and the associated feedback and reporting.
2.0 Detailed information about the data that we collect and how it will be used and stored
2.1 You will only be asked for personal information that is relevant for the work being undertaken. The information that will be requested and held will enable the professional working with you or your child/young person to decide:
- What kind of involvement is appropriate;
- What tests and assessments should be used; and
- Whether liaison with other professionals is needed
2.2 The specific work carried out will vary according to the individual’s needs and the concerns being investigated. The list below shows the range of supportive activities that might be carried out:
- Classroom observation;
- Observation in other settings in school, for example in a small group teaching session or nurture group;
- Discussion with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), or head of learning/student support if the setting is FE or HE college;
- Discussion with class teacher/form tutor and any other school/college staff (for example, Teaching Assistant, Mentor, School Counsellor, head of year);
- Work alongside the child or young person in class (for example, in Foundation Stage it is often more helpful to assess a young child through the usual play activities that are offered);
- Individual assessment work. This might involve using tests, questionnaires or interview techniques for eliciting views;
- Discussion with other external professionals who are working with you or your child/young person (for example, speech therapist, learning support teacher);
- Scrutiny of reports or other written information completed by other external professionals working with you or your child/young person;
- Scrutiny of school/college information, including SEN records;
- Therapeutic work; or
- Group work.
2.3 Where possible parents and carers will always be offered an appointment to meet with the person who will be working with their child. This will take place in school and the SENCo will usually make arrangements with you.
2.4 Apart from liaison with external professionals who are working with you or your child/young person, The School Psychology Service Ltd will not share information about you or your child to anyone outside of our organisation without your consent unless the law compels us to do so. We have a duty of care towards the individuals with whom we work. Therefore, we would have to disregard any promises of confidentiality if we thought a child, young person or adult was in any kind of danger and would be harmed, or cause harm, if we did not disclose some information about them or intervene in some way. Under these circumstances the need to keep someone safe from harm over-rides the duty to keep information about them confidential.
2.5 The work carried out with you or your child/young person will initially generate some paper information. For example, the professional will make some handwritten notes about work undertaken or will complete a paper test record booklet. This paper information will be used to create electronic written reports and/or summaries. In giving consent for The School Psychology Service Ltd to work with you or your child, you are giving permission for written reports or summaries to be completed and for copies to be sent to the school or college. The school or college will also send you a copy of any written report or summary that is completed. The report or summary may also be shared with other external professionals who are currently working with you or your child/young person. Test record booklets will be shredded as soon as a written report or summary is completed. Handwritten file notes will be retained until the case is closed. When a decision is made to close your case or your child’s case, at that point all handwritten material will be shredded.
2.6 All electronic files, reports and summaries are stored on secure Cloud Services housed within a UK accredited Tier-3 Datacentre, adhering to all recommended GDPR regulations. Files are transferred to schools as password protected PDF documents. Electronic Information will be retained for 10 years, or until the individual reaches the age of 25.
2.7 The law allows us to share your personal information in some circumstances, provided it has been anonymised. For example, we might discuss the work we have done with your child with other professionals in order to gain advice and to check that we are drawing reasonable conclusions and making good decisions. This is called supervision and it is common for professionals in health, care and education roles to ask for advice from their colleagues in this way. If we do discuss the work we have done in supervision, we will not pass on personal information that would allow another professional to identify your child. We might also show any written report or summary to other psychologists in a face to face supervision meeting, in order to obtain feedback about the quality of the report. These psychologists are also bound by confidentiality and data protection rules, so they would not keep a copy of any personal information.