Schools and Colleges

Privacy Statement

Why we collect data

This statement explains what information we gather and lets you know how this information is used and protected.

The University of Essex work throughout Essex, Suffolk, Thurrock and East London to support young people in areas where certain members of the population are under-represented in Higher Education. This is known as ‘outreach’ or ‘widening participation’ (WP).

The University’s student recruitment and outreach teams provide a range of events, activities, talks and interventions to help young people, their parents/guardians and their teachers become more aware of the options that are available after school, sixth form and/or college. At all events and activities, information, advice and guidance (IAG) is given with the aim of helping students to make informed decisions about their future education and career path.

Due to this outreach work, the University of Essex therefore collect information so that we can:

  • Plan and manage activities and events with schools and colleges
  • Monitor participation in activities and events
  • Conduct evaluation and research in order to report on the effectiveness and impact of the activities and events offered. Specifically, this data collection aims to evidence where activities have increased the number of young people going to Higher Education

The Office for Students requires the University of Essex to provide evidence that the work we do with schools, sixth forms and colleges is making a difference. This is achieved by reporting on targets that are set in the Access and Participation Plan. The University must therefore keep a record of events and activities that individual school, sixth form and college students have attended in order to see which of those people progress to Higher Education.

We therefore collect data about students, parents/guardians and teachers who take part in our activities. For students and parents/guardians this will include name, date of birth, postcode, school, sixth form or college and email address. For teachers we also collect information about job role and further contact information.

We won’t use the information you give us to contact you with marketing (promoting our activities) without your permission, and we never share your information with other organisations for marketing purposes.

What is the lawful basis for collecting your data for our Widening Participation programme?

For planning and managing activities with schools and colleges, monitoring participation, and evaluating and reporting on impact, the University use the legitimate interests of itself and others, including the OfS. When promoting events to you (marketing) we will always ask for your consent. We will also ask for consent when activities are sustained over a time period and/or are residential in nature.

What information do we collect?

Students and Parents/Guardians:

We collect your name, date of birth, postcode, school, sixth form or college name and email address when you take part in our activities. For some activities, where it is relevant and where OfS require it, we may also collect information on ethnicity and gender.

Where possible, we gather information directly from your school, sixth form or college, and such sharing is always governed by a data sharing agreement. If your school, sixth form or college does not have a data sharing agreement with us, or if you no longer attend an education institution, we will ask you directly, to share the data with us via our online form. When you take part in our activities, we may also ask about health and/or other issues, including dietary and access requirements. We need to know this type of information so that we can provide the right support and keep you safe whilst you are with us.


In order to run our events and maintain effective relationships with schools, sixth forms and colleges, we will ask you to provide your name, job role and contact details. If you are booking an activity with us, we will also ask for the contact details of your approving manager to help us facilitate your request. In some instances, we may also ask about health and/or other issues, including dietary and access requirements. We need to know this type of information so that we can provide the right support and keep you safe whilst you are with us.

How do we store and protect your data?

To monitor and track both individual and institutional engagement with our WP activity, the university store data in the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT), which is a national database, as well as other internal systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics.

Data is always stored inside the EEA.

View the University of Essex data protection and information security policies.

How do we share your data?

Sometimes we need to share data with the Office for Students (OfS), the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) or the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). We also share with Make Happen, which is the Essex based consortia of the National Collaborative Outreach Project (NCOP). This is a partnership project funded by the Office for Students (OfS).

How long do we keep your data for?

Any data collected for the purpose of monitoring participation and evaluating and reporting on impact, will be kept for up to ten years after the point at which you are eligible to progress to Higher Education (year 13). If you progress to Higher Education within those 10 years, we will keep the data for another 10 years after that point. This is so we can look at the long term impact of our WP activities. Specifically, we would like to assess whether young people who take part are any more likely to go on to Higher Education and if so, what that means for their employability.

Parent/guardian and teacher data that is collected for the purpose of planning and managing activities is only stored for as long as it is required within the context of a given activity.

Data stored within university systems and in the HEAT database will be held securely and where appropriate, anonymised according to any anonymisation protocols conducted by the HEAT Service and/or HESA. The Information Commissioner’s Office has approved HEAT’s retention schedule, which explains how long information is stored for.

View the data privacy information for HEAT.

How can you access your data?

You have the right to ask for a copy of any information the University of Essex holds about you, and to ask questions about how your data is being used and your data rights. Please contact the Data Protection Officer at the University of Essex if you would like further information.

Telephone: 01206 874853



If you are unsatisfied with the way the University has processed your personal data, or have any questions or concerns about your data please email our Data Protection Officer.

If we are not able to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Changes to this notice

We keep our privacy notices under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated in October 2019.