Data Protection Guidance for ART Teachers

ART is concerned to protect the personal details of the teachers and ringers who use its services and has put in place policies to ensure that this happens. We ask you to read four key policy documents which cover data protection in your teaching:

  • Privacy Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Data security procedures (part of the Data Protection Policy)
  • Photography and Video Policy

» ART policies and guidelines

What in practice does this mean for me as an ART Teacher?

General Principles

ART’s Privacy Policy sets out how the Association, its officials and volunteers, use personal information provided by ringers, teachers and other users of its services. You could summarise this by saying “don’t use someone’s details for any purpose they would not reasonably expect you to use them for”. Particular care should be exercised in keeping and using the contact details of children, i.e. those under 18. The sharing of an ART user’s details outside your work in connection with ART’s activities should normally only be done with the permission of the user.

Data Security and Safeguarding

“Permission to ring” forms for children and vulnerable adults (VAs) should include contact information for both the child or VA and their parent or carer. It may also include medical information, and this is classed in D. P. law as sensitive data requiring secure storage and careful use. The issues of when, how and with whom information on the forms should be shared are complex, particularly where forms contain medical information. In special circumstances, such as acrimonious marital break-up or domestic abuse, the address and tower location of a ringer may be sensitive information. For teachers, ART suggests:

  • As a minimum any key background information should be shared by the teacher with one other responsible adult (normally a deputy) in the tower to cover any possible absence of the teacher.
  • Emergency contact telephone numbers for children and V.A.s should be displayed in the home tower and carried by the teacher (in a diary/notebook or on a mobile phone) for access in other towers, at events or on outings.
  • The teacher should consider sharing information with more adults in the group if the child or vulnerable adult is attending an event outside the home tower.

Secure storage and access to data

  • Few towers have secure facilities for storage. A church office may have the means to store confidential information, but off-site secure storage of consent forms at home by the tower captain or secretary may be necessary.
  • Consent forms should ideally be stored in a lockable filing cabinet, but should as a minimum be kept in a file out of sight in a room to which access is restricted and controlled.
  • Access to electronic files should similarly be controlled by good computer security measures such as not sharing log in details, using strong passwords, not keeping sensitive data on portable devices such as mobile phones or pen drives which can easily be lost.

Communicating with children and young people under 18 and vulnerable adults

  • The legal age of adulthood is 18, although the Data Protection Act 2018 (which incorporated the UK-GDPR) gives rights to young people from the age of 13. ART recommends that all communications to those under 16 are copied in the first instance to their parent or guardian. However, ART offers membership to teachers from the age of 16 and we suggest that preferences for routine communications are first discussed with young ringers and teachers aged 16 and 17 parents only included where the youngster wishes it. Teachers and towers are still advised to get parents’ permission for 16 and 17 year olds to attend events away from the home tower such as outings. Similarly, the carers of vulnerable adults should be kept informed of any issues or activities affecting the adults for whom they are responsible.
  • A separate ART policy covers the use of video recordings and photography. Permission should be sought before videoing or photographing anyone taking part in activities led by ART teachers. Photographs or videos made to assist the teacher in their teaching, particularly where these involve children, should be deleted as soon as the purpose for which they were made has been met. This should normally be done at the end of the session in which the photo or recording was made.

Other Issues

Teachers should also be aware that any issues connected with:

  • Requests for access to a user’s own personal data
  • Loss or corruption of data
  • How long to retain records

are covered by guidelines within ART’s Data Protection Policy and any queries should be referred to ART’s Data Protection Adviser: .

Further Information

If you would like to know more about the GDPR, a short video (7 minutes long) gives an introduction to GDPR: “What is the GDPR? A summary of the EU GDPR” by IT Governance Ltd.

Guidance History

Last Modified: July 2021

Last Reviewed: June 2021


If you have any questions about this policy or data protection you are invited to contact the Association at: