Children's Services Department Complaints – Privacy Notice

Why do we collect and use this information?

Hampshire County Council is the Data Controller for the purpose of collecting and using information from complainants and their families, schools/academies/colleges, health services, private and voluntary organisations and other local authorities in order to carry out our responsibilities to provide a sensitive, customer-focused service for representations, complaints and compliments, appropriate to the needs of children and young people.

We collect information about your child as well as information about you as their parent/carer possibly making the submission on their behalf, alongside any other wider family member if needed to support any investigation. We hold this personal data securely and use it to:

  • provide help and advice to children and young people and others who may wish to make a complaint so that they understand the options available for resolution both within the complaints procedure or alternatives routes of remedy and redress
  • ensure that advocacy services are explained, offered and provided when required
  • communicate with the complainant to ensure they are kept informed at all stages
  • co-ordinate the complaints process
  • offer advice on the response of the authority
  • provide practical support to complainants
  • contribute to the creation of the Annual Report
  • contribute to the core record of your child held by the County Council
  • undertake statistical forecasting and planning
  • undertake wider County Council statutory duties in support of your child’s education and welfare
  • ensure compliance with our obligations under the accuracy principle of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (Article (5)(1)(d)), making sure our records about you and your family are up to date

Aptean Limited is a data processor for this information acting on our instructions for the purpose of delivering a contract to the County Council around the hosting and supporting of the RESPOND Database which we use to store the information provided to us, as identified under this privacy notice. This includes accessing the RESPOND Database to fix any technical issues to ensure the system is fit for use.

The following sections provide further detail around the information we process setting out what allows us to do this (lawful basis), who we may share it with, how long we keep it for (the retention period), alongside identifying any rights you may have and who to contact if you think we’re not handling your information in the right way.

The categories of information that we collect, hold and share

The following personal and special category information is processed:

  • Your personal information (name, address, phone numbers, email) and information about your characteristics (parental responsibility status, ethnicity, gender, age banding, disabled status)
  • Your child’s personal information (name, date of birth, address)
  • Details about your complaint (context, supporting evidence including case records, outcomes being sought)

The lawful basis on which we use this information

We collect and use the information ensuring that we comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements for processing through:

  • Article 6(1)(e) – the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law
  • Article 9(2) (g) – Necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of Union or Member State law which is proportionate to the aim pursued and which contains appropriate safeguarding measures
  • Sch.1, Pt.2, 1 – Substantial public interest conditions, for processing under the Data Protection Act 2018 (when enacted)

These articles under the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018) are supported by the following specific legislation:

  • Getting the Best from Complaints 2006 statutory guidance
  • Section 26(3) of the Children Act 1989
  • Section 7 Guidance under the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970

Under this lawful basis we do not require your consent to process this information but we are required, through this privacy notice, to ensure you are fully informed of why we are collecting this information and what we will do with it.

Please note that no automated decision making (decisions taken without a person involved) occurs for any parts of these activities controlled by the County Council. The County Council does use profiling as part of the complaints basis. The first set of profiling is used in how we administer the complaints process by categorising as a complaint or case concern. If a complaint we then further define by statutory or non-statutory complaints based on the statutory guidance. The final approach to profiling is within the two complaints categories based on which stage of the process they are at – stage 1-3 for statutory complaints and stages 2-3 for corporate complaints.

Storing and securing data

The information provided to us will be held within the County Council’s RESPOND Database and will be kept in line with our retention schedule and then disposed of as appropriate. The RESPOND Database is hosted by the County Council in secure data centres based in the UK. Information is encrypted when in transit between County Council users of the system and the data centre the information is hosted within.

The County Council takes its data security responsibilities seriously and has policies and procedures in place to ensure the personal data held is:

  • prevented from being accidentally or deliberately compromised
  • accessed, altered, disclosed or deleted only by those authorised to do so
  • accurate and complete in relation to why we are processing it
  • continually accessible and usable with daily backups
  • protected by levels of security ‘appropriate’ to the risks presented by our processing

The County Council also ensures its IT Department is certified to the internationally recognised standard for information security management, ISO27001.

Who do we share information with?

We do not share information with anyone unless there is a lawful basis that allows us to do so.

In order to undertake a Stage 2 complaint an Investigating Officer (IO), who has the overall responsibility for investigating the complaint at Stage 2, and an Independent Person (IP) should have access to all relevant records. The lawful basis of ‘public task’ allows this information to be shared. If your complaint was to escalate to Stage 3, then a Review Panel would be formed consisting of three independent people. The County Council is required to share panel papers (covering documentation required pre and post the panel sitting) with each panel member under the same lawful basis of public task. In both cases, although there is a lawful basis allowing this information to be processed for these stages of the complaints process without the need to obtain your consent, at each stage the information being used will still be considered to ensure it is necessary, proportional and relevant for the task in hand.

Depending on the individual circumstances of each situation, we may have to share this information with other teams within the County Council to fulfil other duties and powers to support our work. These might include our Children Missing Education (for ensuring the provision of full time education); Data Protection Team (for personal data incidents); Virtual School (for support of children looked after); and/or Social Care teams (supporting welfare, safeguarding and corporate parent functions). We may also share information through the County Council’s role in the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) to comply with their statutory duties.

Requesting access to your personal data and your rights

Under data protection legislation, individuals have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or someone you have responsibility for, please contact the Children’s Services Department’s Subject Access Request (SAR) Team.

You also have the right to:

  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by solely automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

Please note that under the UK GDPR, there is also a right to erasure but the right to erasure does not provide an absolute ‘right to be forgotten’. Where the data being processed is for the purpose of ‘performing a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law’ (Article 6(1)(e)), this right does not automatically apply.

Further information

You have some legal rights in respect of the personal information we collect from you. See our Data Protection page for further details.

You can contact the County Council’s Data Protection Officer by email data.protection@hants.gov.uk.

If you have a concern 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.