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Children's services privacy notice

Find out how Westminster City Council Children’s Services collect and use personal information about you and your family.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


This notice explains what personal data (information) we hold about you, how we collect it and use it and who we may share your information with. We are required to give you this information under data protection law.​

Purposes for processing your information

The Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) service is responsible for carrying out duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to statutory assessment processes, and the ongoing monitoring of children and young people who have Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans. This includes information and advice sought for annual review, tracking information, disagreement resolution or mediation processes and processes relating to appeals to the Special Educational Need and Disability Tribunal (SENDT).

We work in a coordinated way with other children and young people’s services in Westminster City Council (WCC) and with partner organisations to ensure that we deliver the best possible outcomes for children and young people with SEND and to ensure we are fully compliant with the Children and Families Act 2014. The Data Protection Act 2018 states that before we collect your personal data we must have a lawful basis or reason. There are only 6 permissible reasons and we must have at least one of these reasons. For the SEND data we are relying on GDPR 6(1)(e) where processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

We collect and use children and young people's data to comply with our statutory obligations as outlined in the Children and Families Act 2014, and to carry out tasks in the public interest.

What information do we collect?

We collect information from parents or carers for children and young people below and within statutory school age, and from young people themselves if they are aged 16 or over and no longer in compulsory education.

In the course of assessing and planning SEND support and providing the most suitable educational provision, we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:

  • personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, parent/carer name(s), gender)
  • details of special educational needs and disabilities
  • ethnicity
  • information about physical or mental health

We also obtain personal information from the following other sources:

  • other organisations or teams that can provide us with advice and information (such as Adult or Children’s Social Services, educational psychologists, mental health services, doctors, General Practitioners (GPs), school nurses and other NHS providers and services)
  • schools or post-16 settings currently or previously attended
  • early education providers currently or previously attended (such as nurseries, pre-schools and childminders)

Your personal information is only used for a specified purpose(s) (see “purpose for processing your information” above) but if we intend to use it for any other new purposes we will normally ask you first. For instance, in some cases, the local authority may wish to use your information for another purpose such as in relation to improving and developing services, or to prevent or detect fraud.  In any event our processing will always have a demonstrable lawful basis.  Where practicable and reasonable we will always seek to inform you of any significant proposed changes to how we process or intend to process your personal data, in order to ensure full transparency over how we handle your information.

​How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to:

  • identify your child’s SEND needs
  • clarify the child or young person’s needs
  • identify the support they require which will help them to achieve their outcomes
  • know who we need to speak to, so we can ask them to send us information and advice relating to your child
  • make decisions about whether to conduct a statutory needs assessment or issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
  • make decisions about the content of an EHC Plan including outcomes, placement and provision
  • support the ongoing monitoring of the provision specified in an EHC Plan where one is issued
  • inform the EHC Plan annual review and monitor your child’s progress
  • support disagreement resolution or mediation processes and processes relating to appeals to the Special Educational Need and Disability Tribunal (SENDT)
  • help to resolve any disagreements
  • enable coordinated working with other teams and organisations
  • evaluate and quality assure the services we provide
  • assess for specialist equipment
  • inform future commissioned services and educational placements requirements
  • to support our planning as children and young people transition to adulthood

How long your personal data will be kept

We keep children and young people’s information from their date of birth until they reach the age of 31. Additionally, the SEND and educational psychology services keep information for six years after the date of last involvement, which will go beyond the age of 25 for those young people supported between the ages of 20 and 25. After this time the information is archived or securely destroyed.

Who we share your personal information with:

  • teams within WCC working to improve outcomes for children and young people
  • commissioned providers of local authority services (such as education or health services)
  • schools, colleges and early years providers as well as wider education or training providers
  • local multi-agency forums which provide SEND advice, support and guidance
  • educational psychologists
  • other local authorities and social care or health providers outside of the Local Authority
  • Department of Education
  • providers of independent advice and guidance (such as contracted SEND consultants)
  • mediation services

We share information that we have gathered as part of a statutory needs assessment to identify the setting to be named in ‘Section I’ of a child or young person’s EHC Plan (this includes consulting in accordance with parental or young person choice as well as with those providers we feel would be suitable). We share information to resolve disagreements as part of formal and informal processes in relation to mediation, or formal appeals through the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

​Your rights and access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. 

The UK General Data Protection Regulations also give you additional rights about the information we hold about you and how we use it.

You have a right to:

  • object to and restrict further processing of your data; however, this may affect service delivery to you
  • request to have your data deleted where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing and provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it
  • request your data to be rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • have your data transferred or copied should you move to another authority, where applicable
  • not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling​, where applicable

Information about how to submit a subject access request

If you have any concerns

If you have any questions about this privacy statement or data protection issues generally please email: [email protected]

If you would like to know more about SEND please contact us at:

You have a right to complain to us if you think we may not have complied with our obligations as to how personal information should be handled; please see our fair processing notice or our complaints section.

If you think we may not have complied with our obligations regarding the handling of your personal information and should you remain dissatisfied with the council’s response, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Report a concern by visiting the ICO website.

Changes in your circumstances

You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your circumstances and personal details in order for us to maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information.

Published: 29 December 2020

Last updated: 13 June 2023