GDPR Privacy Notice

Who processes your information?

The Physical Difficulties Support Service (PDSS) is a “processor” of the personal information you have provided to your child’s school and Local Authority. This means that schools, Trusts and Local Authorities share some personal information with us when they have asked us to help provide SEND support to children and young people.

We refer to your information as “personal data” and when we use your information in different ways, this is called “processing”. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) outlines how personal data should be protected and used appropriately by organisations.

In some cases, your personal data will also be shared with other people, organisations or companies. This sharing will only occur after we have sought your permission (consent), unless the law requires us to do so. If we share your personal data outside of PDSS, we ensure that the same data protection standards are upheld by other people involved in processing your personal data.

The categories of pupil information that we process include:

  • personal identifiers and contacts (such as name, date of birth, gender, unique pupil number, contact details and address)
  • characteristics (such as ethnicity and language)
  • safeguarding information (such as court orders and professional involvement)
  • images (such as photographs)
  • special educational needs and disabilities (including the needs and ranking)
  • medical and administration (such as doctor’s other health professionals’ information, child health, dental health, allergies, medication and dietary requirements)
  • attendance (such as sessions attended, number of absences, and absence reasons)
  • assessment and attainment (such as Key Stage 1 and 2 and phonics results)
  • behavioural information (such as exclusions and any relevant alternative provision put in place)

Why do we collect and use your information?

PDSS has been commissioned by schools and Local Authorities to collect and use personal data relating to pupils and their families. We may also receive information regarding them from schools (currently or previously attended), early education providers (currently or previously attended), local authorities, educational psychologists, mental health services, doctors, school nurses and other NHS providers and / or the DfE. We collect and use personal data in order to meet legal requirements and legitimate interests set out in the GDPR and UK law, and to:

  • advise schools in their compliance with The Equalities Act 2010 and their statutory duties
  • contribute to Special Education Needs statutory procedures if appropriate.

In accordance with the above, the personal data of pupils and their families is collected and used for the following reasons:

  • To assess and plan SEND support and educational provision
  • To support the ongoing monitoring of the provision specified in an EHC plan where one is issued
  • To support pupil learning
  • To monitor and report on pupil progress
  • To provide appropriate pastoral care
  • To enable co-ordinated working with schools and organisations
  • To assess the quality of our service
  • To comply with the law regarding data sharing
  • To keep children safe (food allergies or emergency contact details)
  • To meet the statutory duties placed upon us for DfE data collections

Which data is collected?

  • Personal information - e.g. name and address, date of birth
  • Characteristics - e.g. preferred language
  • Attendance information - e.g. number of absences and absence reasons
  • Assessment information - e.g. national curriculum assessment results
  • Relevant medical information
  • Information relating to SEND
  • Behavioural information - e.g. behaviour incidents and temporary exclusions
  • Photographs - these will be used to aid our records management, and safeguarding procedures
  • Assessment and examination information
  • Welfare and other pastoral support information

Whilst the majority of the personal data you provide to the PDDS is required for the statutory assessments we undertake, some is provided on a voluntary basis. PDSS will inform you whether you are required to provide this data or if your consent is needed. Where consent is required, PDSS will provide you with specific and explicit information with regards to the reasons the data is being collected and how the data will be used.

The categories of parent information that PDSS collects, holds and shares includes the following:

  • Contact information, including addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of parents / carers and / or any other emergency contacts
  • Information pertaining to home life where appropriate, e.g. where a pupil is identified as having a mental health issue or there are safeguarding concerns

How long is your data stored for?

Personal data relating to SEND pupils and their families using the PDSS is stored in line with the GDPR Data Protection policies of the schools and Local Authorities we are commissioned by.

In accordance with GDPR, PDSS does not store personal data indefinitely; data is only stored for as long as is necessary to complete the task for which is was originally collected. For pupils with SEN and / or Disabilities, data will be retained for 25 years from date of birth.

Will my information be shared?

The PDSS is required to share pupils’ data with schools, Local Authorities and the DfE on a statutory basis. This data sharing underpins school funding and educational attainment policy and monitoring. Schools are also required to share information about pupils with the DfE under regulation 5 of The Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

The National Pupil Database (NPD) is managed by the DfE and contains information about pupils in schools in England. Your child’s school is required by law to provide information about pupils to the DfE as part of statutory data collections, such as the school census; some of this information is then stored in the NPD. The DfE may share information about pupils from the NDP with third parties who promote the education or wellbeing of children in England by:

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

The DfE has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of any data shared from the NDP is maintained.

To find out more about the NPD, go to

Why we regularly share pupil information

PDSS does not share information about pupils using our services without your consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so. PDSS routinely shares pupils’ information with:

  • Birmingham City Council, including commissioned providers of services
  • Schools, colleges and early years providers as well as wider education or training providers
  • The NHS and other health professionals
  • The Department of Education
  • Other local authorities / social care / health providers outside of Birmingham City Council
  • Other Government agencies
  • Providers of independent advice and guidance (e.g. contracted SEND consultants)
  • Local and national community groups and organisations in the voluntary sector
  • Law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable laws

What are your rights?

Parents and pupils have the following rights in relation to the processing of their personal data.

You have the right to:

  • Request access to the personal data that the PDDS holds
  • Object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • Prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • Request that your personal data is amended if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • Request that your personal data is erased where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing

Where the processing of your data is based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw this consent at any time.

Where can you find out more information?

For more information about the Department of Education’s data sharing process, please visit:

For information about which organisations the Department of Education has provided pupil information, (and for which project), please visit the following website:

To contact the DfE:

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, parents and pupils have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or be given access to your child’s educational record, contact the Data Protection Officer your child’s school. An email address and contact details will usually be published on the school website.  Please address letters: For the attention of the Data Protection Officer.

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • a right to seek redress, either through the ICO, or through the courts

If you have a concern or complaint 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 at


If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact: Head of Service

Steve Hughes – 0121 373 4475

Email us at
(Our preferred contact method)
As we work in schools it may be quicker to contact us by email

Call us on

0121 742 7203
(There is an answer phone)

Come find us at

Brays Rd, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 1NS