Privacy notice for school admissions

Who is collecting and using your personal data?

The school and/or Devon County Council will act as a ‘data controller’ for any personal data that you provide to us. As such, we will ensure that the data you give us is processed in line with our organisation’s data protection policies and in line with your rights under the Data Protection Act 2017 and the EU General Data Protection Regulations.

Should you wish to find out more about Devon County Council’s data protection policies please contact our Data Protection Officer.

What if you don’t provide your personal data?

The law around admissions to state-funded mainstream schools requires parents to make a formal application, either to the Local Authority or direct to the school.

Please note that failure to provide your personal data may mean that your application for admission to school will be affected: either we will not be able to process the application at all or it will be delayed while information is sought or your application will not receive the level of priority for admission that it could.

Where we ask questions about Fair Access on the Devon in-year common application forms, information would be used by the Local Authority to make allocations for eligible children at a local school quickly where admission would otherwise have been refused. Without that information, the Local Authority may be unable to confirm eligibility under its Fair Access Protocol.

Why are we collecting your personal data?

We are collecting your personal data for the following purposes:

  • To confirm the personal details of the child for whom you are seeking a school place.
  • To confirm who you are and that you have the right to make an application.
  • To confirm your child’s details.
  • To enable you to provide information in support of the application, so that it receives the appropriate level of priority under the admissions policy for the school.

We rely upon article 6(1)(e) of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) as the lawful basis to process your personal data and on the School Admissions Code and School Admissions Appeals Code to administer the school admissions process.

Who will we share your personal data with?

Your child’s name, address and the unique identification numbers that are assigned to your child in our education, health and social care systems will be imported into a data matching tool that is used by the Children and Education Service to improve the efficiency of data matching.

This will help us to deliver integrated care and educational services to you and your child and will enable Devon County Council to continue to better discharge our safeguarding responsibilities to children at risk.

In order to deliver services to you, it may also be necessary for us to share your personal data with the following organisations/partners:

  • The local authority where your child lives.
  • The local authority to which the school you are seeking admission is located.
  • Any school you name on an application form.
  • Other departments within this local authority as deemed necessary for safeguarding purposes and to support your child’s education.
  • Any school to which your child is allocated a place under the Fair Access Protocol.
  • Any church or other faith organisation you name on a school supplementary information form.
  • An independent admissions appeal panel where you subsequently submit an appeal against a decision to refuse admission.
  • Any government department with a statutory interest in the information.


We may use your information in order to invite you to comment on your experience of the admissions process and your reasons for transferring from one school to another in-year.

How long will we hold your personal data?

We will retain your personal data for only as long as is necessary and in line with our organisation’s record retention schedules.

Automated decisions

For admissions applications at the normal round – the first intake into any school – all applications will be processed through a co-ordinated admissions scheme. This uses the data you provide and the ranking of applications by each school to determine which school is offered for each child. This is an automated process within each local authority.

Offers are made to the relevant number of children for each school not less than up to the published admission number for each school with those at the top of each school’s ranked list being offered first.

Where one or more school could provide a place to a child with more than one school named on his or her application form, a place will be offered only to the school named highest on that application form with schools named lower on the form being disregarded. Further information regarding this process is available from the School Admissions Team of Devon County Council or the home local authority where the child lives.

Exercising your rights

Under the Data Protection Act 2017 and the EU General Data Protection Regulations you have the following rights:

  • The right of access to your own personal data.
  • The right to request rectification or deletion of your personal data.
  • The right to object to the processing of your personal data.
  • The right to request a copy of the information you provide us in a machine-readable format.
  • The right to withdraw your consent to any processing that is solely reliant upon your consent.

Should you wish to exercise any of your rights, you should contact the Data Protection Officer at Devon County Council.

Your right to complain

In the event that you wish to complain about the way that your personal data has been handled by Devon County Council, you should write to the Data Protection Officer and clearly outline your case. Your complaint will then be investigated in accordance with the Council’s customer feedback procedure. If you remain dissatisfied with the way your personal data has been handled, you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office whose contact details are below:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


Changes to how we may process your personal data during the COVID-19 crisis

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be necessary for Devon County Council to change the way that we process your personal data, to ensure we can protect public health and deliver essential services to you and the public during this crisis. For more information read our COVID-19 privacy notice.