Over the last few months, the chances are that you may have heard of something called ‘GDPR’. Whether it was a slew of desperate emails flooding your inbox towards the end of May or the numerous pop-ups that appeared on various websites, begging for your permission- GDPR is everywhere now.
In a nutshell, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it is an update to the EU data and privacy laws that were enforced over a decade ago. These laws have been updated for the digital age and aim to give back the power to the individual in terms of how their data is used and by whom. Now as a teacher, you might be thinking “well this doesn’t apply to me”- you would be wrong.
Whilst a lot of the GDPR headache is handled at a leadership level, your day to day working routine is also about to change. Here is an outline of exactly how:
So let us be clear for a moment, the GDPR isn’t going to affect what you do in terms of teaching, rather it is an evolution of the way in which things are done.
Small things like ensuring your laptop is locked when you are not using it, not putting pupil data on walls in unlocked staffrooms, and not sharing passwords with other teachers all need to be reiterated and enforced. None of these seemingly small things are acceptable under the GDPR.
Being on the ball
As a teacher, you will also be expected to automatically report any actual or suspected personal data breaches. Whilst previously you may have delayed informing the management, or even just ignored it, now this simply cannot happen.
You must even consider your use of new tools or platforms, even on a trial basis. Whilst previously you may have just checked with your superior and acted depending on their response, now this is not acceptable.
Under the new rules, this type of activity needs to be more formal and the teacher needs to specify what they want to use, why, how, and what kind of data will be involved. A full risk assessment will also need to be carried out.