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Work giving out phone number

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by shelly1984, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Simply not true - even if a breach of GDPR has happened (it probably hasn't, we don't know enough details to be sure). Even if it turned out there was a breach it would be so trivial that no school is going to fined a single penny. No school anywhere has been fined anything for GDPR breaches yet (although a couple of staff members have been convicted of stealing data for their private use).
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Being found to have breached GDPR regulations has the potential to close an academy down

    Penalties for non-compliance with GDPR can vary widely depending on the nature of the violation, the volume of records disclosed without authorization, and the efforts made by the business or organization to mitigate a breach of personal data. In worse case scenarios – and even when the authorized exposure of personal data has been accidental – the penalties for non-compliance with GDPR are substantial:

    • Non-compliance with the Regulation´s security standards can result in a fine of up to €10 million or 2% of global annual turnover – whichever is the higher.
    • Non-compliance with the Regulation´s privacy standards can result in a fine up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover – whichever is the higher.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    (1) It's unlikely any GDPR breach has occurred, although we don't have enough information to know for sure (why would OP have provided her personal phone number to the school if it wasn't so that the school could contact her on it?)
    (2) That quote isn't about schools, just a general summary of data protection law
    (3) ICO cannot order a school to close down
    (4) ICO has not fined any school anywhere in the country a single penny for breaching GDPR
    (5) Any fine would be proportionate to the breach. Even if this were a GDPR breach it would be trivial. ICO will not fine a school for this (assuming a "first offence").
    (6) It's unhelpful to suggest that OP calls the office staff member and tells them they have broken the law and the school can be fined "tens of thousands of pounds". Alarmist and wrong.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  4. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    Thank you for all the replies.
    Yes I gave school my mobile number as we have a staff text service (a bit like parentmail but for staff) so we receive texts about school closures, and reminders for special events etc. I guess I just didn't expect them to be able to hand out my number to people.
    I have since found out that the teacher is also going to be my maternity leave cover which charges things slightly.
    I don't mind helping, as the situation stands at the moment I'm not even sure if I'll be able to return to work before the baby is here anyway (further complications have been discovered)-but work are yet to be informed of this, I have another appointment to discuss this issue with my midwife. Under normal circumstances we would have had a proper hand over and discussed the class in detail.
    I would have preferred an email as then I could have replied when I felt more ready. I feel like a text is harder to ignore.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Can you send a text to the supply teacher with this information and your work email address.
    Then email your line manager and the SBM with the same information, and request that all contact for the rest of your sick leave is by email as you aren't well and being disturbed by text causes you stress.
    strawbs and lizziescat like this.
  6. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    My school was found in breach of GDPR when they disclosed personal details to a parent.

    All they got was a warning via letter
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    no, of course not, but they can issue a fine of such magnitude that it makes closure inevitable
  8. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I think this is a ludicrous overreaction to be quite frank. Cover teachers have a hard enough job without being denied access to the necessary resources to do their job due to ridiculous pettiness on the part of teaching staff.

    I'm a headteacher and your card would be well and truly marked if you complained about this at my place.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    well, with that attitude, you are certainly not going to be a head for much longer!

    The law has changed, to protect everyone from people like you.

    If you think so little of your staff's privacy and homelife, your card would be well and truly marked if I worked in your place.
  10. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Are you REALLY a HT? A lot of your posts show little understanding of the role?
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    They can't do anything of the sort even if this were a GDPR breach. Which it isn't. Even if it were it would be too trivial for a large fine and ICO does not put public services out of business because the fine would have to be paid (in effect) by the government (the children would still have to go to school somewhere!). Your assertion is alarmist and wrong.

    The obsession with GDPR here has allowed the real cause for concern to be sidelined - the school contacting staff who are off sick. If I were OP that's what I would be taking up with my union
  12. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    If you read my post and replies I have helped the cover teacher and I don't mind doing so (I was once one). I would have just preferred that my mobile number wasn't just given out to someone I don't know, without being consulted.
    I was simply asking wether the school could just give my number to them, especially since I don't know them and I do have an email address that could have been used.
    It's interesting that in our school the SLT have school mobile phones so no one knows their personal mobile numbers! I'm sure if that information was given out they wouldn't be happy.
  13. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I'd have been annoyed if this had happened to me, even before GDPR came in. The appropriate thing would have been for the office to ask the supply teacher for her number, which the office would pass to you, so that you could contact her.
    And @GreenTrees123, I am appalled by this light onto your attitude to your staff.
    "I'm a headteacher and your card would be well and truly marked if you complained about this at my place."
    I am not an expert, but it sounds the OP's office have been guilty of poor judgement at best. Had I been the one whose phone number had been given out to a stranger without my permission, I'd be talking to the office manager at the very least.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    shelly1984 likes this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There have been a few posts recently which I have read as an attempt to monetise a situation by introducing a perceived legal technicality, without actually thinking about it pragmatically. GDPR rules if we feel wronged, it seems.

    Where I don't agree with you is OP taking up with union the matter of school contacting when sick, because OP has stated willing to do this by responding to the text, and is perfectly able to express to them that it ought not to be by phone or text. Why take it to the union when that has not been done (or was not at the time of writing the opening post)?

    Tbh I don't understand the original query when it appears that the school have acted simply as a matter of necessary expedience to this cover teacher and therefore to the children in their class, and OP has perpetuated the communication with the same aim.

    It's not a union matter at all at the moment, it's a matter of clear and confident communication about your wishes. Until that has been done, there is no identifiable issue to take them to task on really.

    If might be interesting for OP to dig out the original request for staff mobile numbers for this all staff service, because she might find on that request she has actually given permission for this sort of use. However, in her shoes it might be more interesting to focus on eating well, keeping strong and healthy and preparing the house for a baby while she can.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    @shelly1984, I understand your irritation, and I think your recent posts have been very sensible. I doubt if making a big fuss would achieve anything other than possibly making a few enemies, even if you don't have the sort of Head who would mark your card if you dared to say anything. I do tend to think one should think twice (at least) before doing something which might get a colleague who had made an error of judgement into trouble. It does surprise me sometimes that people suggest this as a first course of action - it is one thing to complain about managers making life difficult but another when it is a junior member of staff who has made a mistake. For what it is worth, my reading of GDPR is that this is a legitimate use of your phone number as it is in the course of your employment, but this is just a personal view. You might be able to have a quiet word with the person who passed on your number, saying that you would rather be contacted by email. If you insist it is your work email, you can decide whether and when to log on to it.

    As for the contact, I think this is wrong, but if your didn't mind helping, I can't see any point in causing yourself extra stress by complaining about it at a time when you most need to be relaxed. Soon being a mother will be the most important thing for you.
    TheoGriff, shelly1984 and Rott Weiler like this.
  16. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Sorry to muddy the waters further but what's to say your number was even removed from a staff database? When I off during pregnancy, it was my TA that gave the supply my number from her own phone!

    It was a bit different as I was suspended due to an infectious disease in school so I was still working from home and had colleagues dropping off marking, etc. for me but there's no saying your number was given through official channels if that makes sense.

    Also, Green trees, I echo others in saying your card would be well and truly marked if I worked for you. I'll never understand this attitude of some SLT that they have a right to make people's lives unnecessarily difficult or demonstrate such a lack of respect for their staff. People aren't lining up to be teachers so I'd be very cautious about treating people so disposably. It's not a bottomless barrel of good staff!
  17. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    is that allowed? if you are infectious, surely you can't touch students things, unless it was exam papers or something, when the paper itself was destroyed, and only the marks emailed back to school
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Surely if the OP is off school because of an infectious disease in the school, then the risk would be to her if the disease was in the marking. Or am I misunderstanding?
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well surely that's of your own doing as the TA held your number in her phone.
    I'm assuming you gave it to her?
    And at the time did you say to her "you are not allowed to give this number to anybody else"? Or did you say "Here-have my number just in case it's needed to do your job"?
    There's a big difference.
    The second one leads her to assume permission to pass it on for somebody else to do their job.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That's my understanding too, it wasn't @Piscean1 who had the infectious disease, it was someone else in the school. The school did a risk assessment and sent Piscean1 home presumably.

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