This page was updated on: 19 November 2020
The Greater London Authority City Intelligence Unit processes personal data on children in England from the Department for Education (DfE) National Pupil Database, or NPD.
What information does the City Intelligence Unit process?
The data originates from the School Census, Early Years Census, Alternative Provision Census and Pupil Referral Unit Census into the DfE National Pupil Database.
This data is collated by the DfE and is accessed by approved GLA staff via the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service.
All GLA staff approved for access have gone through the ONS researcher accreditation process and hold a current ‘basic disclosure’ Disclosure and Barring Service certificate.
Under UK data protection legislation, the DfE are the data controllers for the NPD.
Find out more about how the DfE collect, process, manage and share data from the NPD
What does the GLA use this information for?
The GLA only receives the exact information we require from the NPD for statistical analysis.
This informs the following areas of our work:
- the London Schools Atlas launched in November 2013 – shows patterns of attendance at schools by local area and conversely where pupils resident in local areas go to school
- projections of numbers of children with Special Educational Needs at local authority level by need type, provision and setting
- projections of demand for school places in London boroughs
- analysis of the pupil mobility
- analysis of how many children live in different areas
- analysis of the diversity of early years settings
- analysis to support the Mayor of London in developing policies aimed at reducing inequalities for Londoners
The GLA does not receive any data that would allow anyone individual to be directly identified through that data alone. The data we receive is classed as ‘de-identified individual data’ by the DfE.
The GLA does not and will not use this data, or combine it with any other data, for the purposes of trying to identify any individual.
The GLA does not and will not use this data to make decisions about or that are intended to affect any specific child or individual.
UK data protection legislation defines personal data as including data that could indirectly identify an individual. The data processed by the GLA from the National Pupil Database is therefore considered to be personal data, even though the GLA does not have the means to identify anybody from that data.
What is our legal basis for processing this information?
This personal data is processed under the ‘public task’ legal basis found under article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the GLA. These functions are provided under sections 537A and 537B of the Education Act 1996.
Where information from the NPD includes data on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, this data constitutes ‘special category data’ under GDPR as it relates to an individual’s health. This data is processed under the ‘substantial public interest’ basis provided under Article 9(2)(g) of GDPR and Schedule 1, Part 2, section 6 of the UK Data Protection Act 2018.
For more information:
- DfE lists of organisations and other third parties who are approved to receive data from the National Pupil Database
- DfE guidance on suggested privacy notices for schools and local authorities to issue to staff, parents and pupils about the collection of National Pupil Database data