Jen Persson

Director, defenddigitalme
Speaking at


Data in practice, policy and research under GDPR: drop-in Q&A

Bring-your-own-questions for a Q&A discussion on school data and GDPR. Your policy and practice may be polished, or you might still need to get started. Ask what you want to know on data rights and responsibilities. On classroom apps, national Capita SIMS contact data issues, the School Census, Subject Access Requests, myths on marking at home, and more. Avoid the pitfalls of applying new technology without consideration for privacy. Find out what the Age Appropriate Code of Practice under new Data Protection law, for children using online services might mean for you. Plus a whistlestop tour of what’s changing in national pupil data management and its implications for researchers, teachers, parents and children.


defenddigitalme campaigns for fair, transparent and safe use of school census data. Jen is a member of the DfE National Pupil Database Steering Group and Administrative Data Research Network approvals panel.


School census: what you need to know

Your detailed pupil records are stored in the National Pupil Database. If you or your family were at school any time since the mid-90s, this includes your own. What is it? What is it used for? And how are pupil records used by other government departments and third parties? Your school must meet data protection laws by offering the right to refuse and retract data submitted in the school census since 2016-17. Here’s why.

Where does your data go? A hands-on workshop.

How pupil data is handled by the Department for Education in England is changing. The school census is collecting ever more data. EdTech companies are knocking loudly on your door. New laws come into effect in May 2018 and schools and staff need to take action to be ready. But what do you need to know, where do you start, and how can you minimise workload, time and effort? Classroom teachers, Admin staff, IT administrators, Prevent officers, Heads, Governors all collect or process information from pupils. In a workshop you will contribute to a national map of what you do with pupil data and where it goes. We will show you what is needed in the new laws by May 2018. Together we will look at data flows against the global GDPR model, and identify the gaps, finding what needs to change. We will help you start identifying your own school needs, answer questions, and share common good practices.

The Lord of all Things: an epic journey into the National Pupil Database.

This session ventures into the realms of where our national pupil database comes from, separates fantasy from facts on what happens to pupils’ personal data once it leaves every school in England, and asks if data can serve more than one master well: commercial business, the public interest, and public policy.