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My Data Protection

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by bigbev, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. bigbev

    bigbev New commenter

    I left a school last summer with union support and a compromise agreement as it was clearly not a school for me and it was affecting my health. I have now found out for a second time that the head of the school I left is using their LEA inside connections to find out where I am teaching etc. I working in a neighbouring LEA and have been v careful with what I have said in open company. What can I do to protect myself from the previous heads snooping using unoffical channels? Surely my data should be protected and I am entitled to some privacy?
     
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    What do you mean by 'snooping'? Has you ex-head visited your home or school? Attempted to phone you? Attempted to contact your friends or family or colleagues at your new school or make false allegations about you? Did you get your current job without a reference from your last school? If your previous head got a refenece request won't they know where you are teaching anyway? Does your name appear in the list of staff on the website of your current school?
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    If true, this is almost certainly contrary to the Data Protection Policy of the Local Authority, which will define strictly the uses to which their data may be used. You need to contact your union pronto for advice.
    But before you do, just ask yourself two questions:
    Q1 How do you know that s/he has found out where you are teaching?
    Q2 How do you know that it was using LEA connections?
    I say this because it may have been through perfectly legitimate means. I know, for example, that if I google Olwen Griff School and also Olwen Griff Powys, I can find out an awful lot about my sister - the name of the school, the year group she is teaching, their camping trip, even some Inset she has attended. In fact I have just this instant done it again, and found out about an ecology project she has been leading - with a photo of her I had never seen before!
    So do try that before you jump to conclusions - which may, however, turn out to be correct.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th, and also the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  4. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I have suffered similar thing - HT's do talk to one another... which is why I moved 5 counties, however, you cannot escape your past entirely! Yes, your data should be protected, however, HT's can request information about you from previous LEA's (your record follows you around) under all sort of guises, e.g. safeguarding - my current HT certainly did! But, you can find out what information your previous and current LEA hold on you by putting in a subject access request (data protection act) - most LEA's have set forms to fill in and they can't charge you more than £10 (I believe!). Once you have received the information, go through it with a fine tooth comb and anything missing e.g. pay slips/medical notes etc. or anything that is there that raises concern, speak to your union. And do not be fobbed off with 'there is no information on you' which is what my current LEA is doing... I am in the stages of complaining, based on the fact that they MUST have information on me as I am employed by the LEA, so at the very least they will have my application, contract and pay slips!! xx
     
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    Not necessarily so Theo. There is extensive guidance on the Information Commissioner's website which makes clear that a request for information about an employee cannot automatically be refused on the grounds that it is personal information covered by DPA. LAs and schools would have to balance DPA privacy rights with rights to know under FOI. Much would depend on what information is asked for. A request for bigbev's home address would probably correctly be refused, but someone asking for the schools organisation chart listing just the staff names and their role/job title would be a different matter. It's not at all clear that schools could refuse to say who the teachers at their school are if asked solely for that information - quite aside from the fact that many schools publish this anyway so presumably don't consider that it breaches DPA!
     
  6. bigbev

    bigbev New commenter

    Thank you all. I have contacted my union
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I think we are talking at cross purposes here Rott - or perhaps I have misunderstood bigbev's first post.
    My understanding was that the PAST HT is using LEA contacts to find out, from LEA databases, without justifiable reason for this, where the bigbev is now. I think it is probable that the LEA says somewhere that staff may only use the data, or ask for it, for work-related reasons, and that getting someone to have a dekko to find something out of curiosity would be a No-No.
    We are not talking here about any official request for information, I don't think, just someone getting a mate to nose into the computer on his behalf. Which should most certainly be against the LEA policy!
    A FOI request would be something completely different.
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th, and also the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  8. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    What do you think they are doing with this information?
     
  9. Bullying Heads do continue to bully, long after the teachers involved have left the school. Last April, five staff were made redundant, and two of us, to my knowledge, have had our redundancy money withheld by the school. With the help of the NAS, I have been to an Tribunal, only to have the hearing postponed as the school claim that they are still 'gathering evidence'. What I find even more disgusting is to be invited to the police station to discuss 'certain allegations' made against me, by the school. Last week, I went along, with a union solicitor, but after being 'interviewed' for three quarters of an hour, we were none the wiser as the nature of 'these allegations' other than children are not involved. The solicitor wound up the interview, when she simply demanded to know why I was being interviewed and was i to be charged. When the she was refused an answer to these questions, we left.
    Other than to try and save a few thousand pounds of redundancy money, what is the point of this ridiculous cata nd mouse game.
     
  10. Does this never end? I got a phone call this morning, from the Home Office, about a 'routine check' on my immigration status, asking me to confirm my date and place of birth. Call me paranoid, but I am sure this is just another tactic.
     
  11. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    If enough things are happening to make you wonder if it's more than coincidence, make a complaint to the Information Commissioner.
     
  12. Good idea, G'leaves. I assume someone at the my old school has was 'public spirited' enough to report their 'concerns' to the authorities, even though, when going through the last round of CRB checks, I had to show the school business manager my passort and birth certificate. My birth certificate states that I ws born in Margate, as was my mother, while my father was born a few miles up the road, in Birchington: given this, I cannot see how I can even have an 'immigration status'.
     
  13. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    If that's the case, the evidence will be there and you can uncover it. Make a subject access request to the Home Office to disclose personal information they hold on you. It will be disclosed in a redacted state, with the name of the notifier blocked out, but you will have concrete evidence that it has happened (if it has). Then you can complain to the Information Commissioner.
    There's a recent thread on here that explains exactly how to go about this, if you are unsure...
     

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