Schools are now using more and more services to provide a seamless education experience for staff and, most importantly, pupils. Services like iCloud, Google for education, Capita, Dropbox and a wealth of other cloud services are now available.
Add into this mix smartphones, iPads, Laptops, tablets and other portable computer devices used in schools and there becomes an increasing potential for data to be lost, destroyed or accessed outside of the school environment.
The low (or zero) cost of cloud storage services makes cloud services like an attractive choice. But without clear guidance, policy and advice basic errors can have an enormous consequence with one school in the reporting period actually being prosecuted by the ICO.
Professor Andy Phippin from Plymouth University said “The increased volume of data collected on young people presents significant data protection risks. Without awareness of data protection responsibilities, effective technical infrastructure, and lack of staff and governor training, all of this data may be placed at risk and potentially impact on young people’s privacy, development and future lives.”
Evidence suggests that breaches of the data protection act occur largely as a result of weak systems. Schools and especially Headteachers have an increasingly complex role and data protection guidance and advice can be in very short supply.
To help schools, headteachers and even small business navigate the data protection world the UK Safer Internet Centre with their partner SWGfL have created 360data, which has been designed to support schools and other establishments in assessing the data protection risk and then giving clear guidance in steps to improve their performance.
The online self-review tool has been built on the already award winning 360safe (360safe.org.uk) self-review tool used by over 9500 schools in the UK. After completion of and an initial assessment the tool will automatically suggest next steps for improvement, sources of good practice and even legally produced template documents for policies and usage.
Get started with the tool using our FREE 30 second quickstart quiz to get an idea of your current data protection provision, and some tips on how 360data can help you develop strategies and policy to manage the issues.
Find out more about 360data and what it can do for your organisation here.