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Privacy Notice - children in need or looked after children

Who are we and what do we do?

Middlesbrough Council Children’s Services in relation to Children in Need and Children Looked After.

What type of personal data do we collect and how do we collect it?

What type of personal data do we collect

  • Personal information (such as name, date of birth and address)
  • Characteristics (such as gender, ethnicity and disability)
  • Information relating to episodes of being a child in need (such as referral information, assessment information, Section 47 information, Initial Child Protection information and Child Protection Plan information)
  • Episodes of being looked after (such as important dates, information on placements)
  • Outcomes for looked after children (such as whether health and dental assessments are up to date, strengths and difficulties questionnaire scores and offending)
  • Adoptions (such as dates of key court orders and decisions)
  • Care leavers (such as their activity and what type of accommodation they have)
  • Children with special needs (such as details of special need and support given

How we collect your personal data

Whilst the majority of children looked after information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with the data protection legislation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain information to us or if you have a choice in this.

How the law allows us to use your personal information

We collect and process information about children in our care and children to whom we provide services under the following legislation

  • Children Act 1989
  • Children Leaving Care Act 2000
  • Adoption And Children Act 2002
  • Children and Adoption Act 2006
  • Children and Young Persons Act 2008
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Children’s Homes (England) Regulation 2015

We may also process special categories of your personal information

Processing of this special category data is necessary for the purposes of carrying out our obligations under legislation as detailed above and in the course of our legitimate activities as a Local Authority, this may include your:

Race, ethnicity, religion, health, genetics, sex life, sexual orientation.

What is your personal data used for?

  • Support these children and monitor their progress
  • Provide them with pastoral care
  • Assess the quality of our services
  • Evaluate and improve our policies on children’s social care

Will your personal data be shared?

Information may be shared with, (and we receive information from) a wide number of other organisations to make sure the service or support provided meets your individual needs and is of a high quality.

We may also enter into specific information sharing arrangements with partners such as local authorities where it would support our statutory functions. Any information sharing is managed in accordance with relevant privacy and data protection legislation.

  • Department for Education (DfE)
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Public Health Services
  • The Police Force

Why we share this information

Department for Education (DfE) - We share children in need and children looked after data with the Department on a statutory basis, under Section 83 of 1989 Children’s Act, Section 7 of the Young People’s Act 2008 and also under section 3 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.  Data is also held under Section 23 of The Care standards Act 2000.

This data sharing helps to develop national policies, manage local authority performance, administer and allocate funding and identify and encourage good practice.

We do not share information about our children in need or children looked after with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.

NHS (National Health Service) All local authorities as part of a national programme share basic information securely when a child is known to social services and is a Looked After Child or on a Child Protection Plan, if that child attends an NHS unscheduled care setting, such as an emergency department or a minor injury unit:

This means that health and social care staff have a more complete picture of a child's interactions with health and social care services. This enables them to provide better care and earlier interventions for children who are considered vulnerable and at risk 

More information can be obtained from the NHS website NHS Information Sharing.

Public Health Services - For pupils aged 5 to 16 years, the Local authority Childrens, Young People & Culture department from information already supplied by schools to the local authority will pass on basic demographical information to the Public Health service, for the sole purpose of Public Health using the information for organising, developing  and monitoring child immunisation programmes, to ensure that all parents and pupils receive prompt and accurate details of information in respect of their child’s immunisations. The school information that will be provided for this purpose will be the name and address of the pupil and their parents and school attended. In addition, the date of birth of the pupil is supplied.

Data collection requirements 

To find out more about the data collection requirements placed on us by the Department for Education go to:

The National Pupil Database (NPD) 

The NPD is owned and managed by the Department for Education and contains information about children in England. It provides invaluable information on the background and circumstances on a child’s journey and evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as studies commissioned by the Department. It is held in electronic format for statistical purposes. This information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and awarding bodies.  

We are required by law, to provide information about our children to the DfE as part of statutory data collections. Some of this information is then stored in the national pupil database (NPD). The law that allows this is the Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

Find out more about the NPD on GOV.UK.

The department may share information about our pupils from the NPD with third parties who promote the education or well-being of children in England by:

  • Conducting research or analysis
  • Producing statistics
  • Providing information, advice or guidance 

The Department has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of our data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access and use of the data. Decisions on whether DfE releases data to third parties are subject to a strict approval process and based on a detailed assessment of: 

  • who is requesting the data
  • the purpose for which it is required
  • the level and sensitivity of data requested: and
  • the arrangements in place to store and handle the data

To be granted access to pupil information, organisations must comply with strict terms and conditions covering the confidentiality and handling of the data, security arrangements and retention and use of the data.

Find out more about the Department for Education's data sharing process.

Find out which organisations the department has provided pupil information to, and for which project.

Find out how to contact the Department for Education.

How do we keep your personal data secure?

Access to your information is governed and restricted. Only those who work with you and your families where appropriate will have access to your information.

How long will we keep your personal data?

Details of how long we retain records, can be found within the document Middlesbrough Council's retention periods for children's records.

Is your personal data processed overseas?

Your information would only ever be transferred should you move or be transferred to an overseas provider, this would be upon request and under strict governance and security measures in order to maintain the integrity and security of your information and only ever to safeguard you.


We will not direct any marketing to you, we may direct you to support services which you would then engage with should you so wish to.

What are your information rights?

Your Information Rights are set out in law and, subject to some exceptions, you have the:

  • Right to rectification - to ask for information to be corrected
  • Right to erasure - to have your personal data deleted
  • Right to object - to how your data is used
  • Right to restriction - to request limits on how your data is used
  • Right to portability - to request that we move your data to another organisation
  • Right of subject access - to request a copy of data the Council holds about you

Making a complaint

If you have a concerns about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner's Office. Visit the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.


If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice or your information rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 500, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FT
Phone: 01642 245432