In chapter 3, the panellists discuss how budgets cuts are affecting the landscape of learning – and the impacts of GDPR.
From a Trust perspective, Al Kingsley discusses what has been the impact of budget cuts and how to address them. He says:
“Well officially, there are no budget cuts and there is more going into education than ever before. But in the real world the reality is that the new funding formula means there are budgets cuts: there are more demands, more children and more costs than there is increase in budgets. There are different strategies that a Trust can take in terms of the economies of scale that are available. So the economies of scale that schools are looking at, in priority terms, are how to bring together things like HR, finance, IT services; where can we leverage and pull together centralised resources that might provide cost savings.”
Next, Tony Sheppard from GDPR in Schools explains what implementing GDPR actually means for schools: “People think it doesn’t affect them, but actually, it affects everyone. Schools are public bodies and we have a responsibility to look after the data and the privacy of the children, parents and staff. There haven’t been any additional funds to support this, but there is advice out there that’s free: for example, from the ICO (12 steps) and advice from the DfE.
“Schools need to understand that GDPR is not a big bang but a continuous journey and it may need a change in mind-set within some schools. One of the two key things I would encourage is basic risk management. So when staff are looking at some new apps, review which ones are good in terms of looking after data and how the data is being used. The other is about data retention and use. In many cases, we are not using the data for its original purpose, and it’s not been anonymised or informed the people or transparent about when it’s being deleted. We need to think about what data we have, what it is being used for and how long are we keeping it for.”