Mrs Millar's Blog February 2022

Posted on 18th Feb 2022

As the end of another half term approaches, I wanted to thank everyone for their continued engagement with covid detection and prevention. By being proactive it has helped keep our positive case rate manageable and prevented us from having to revert to bubbles or collapsed classes. Students will be issued with a further box of home testing kits this week, and they should continue to test on a Monday and Thursday in the holidays reporting the results to:

There is currently no guidance on when home testing will end, but I will share this information as soon as we are notified.

Next half term is another busy one. Year 11 have their second round of mock examinations. This is a good opportunity for them to judge their progress and reflect on the effectiveness of their revision ahead of their final GCSE exams which begin in only 8 school weeks. There will be virtual exam preparation information for students and parents provided soon.

Year 10 have their parents’ evening on Thursday 10th March. A decision on whether this is virtual or in person will be made on our return from the holidays and will depend on covid rates within our community.

We are hopeful that year 9 GCSE options evening on Tuesday 15th March will be able to take place in person as being able to have face to face discussions is more supportive for the students in helping them make their choices.

A large proportion of our year 11 have now successfully completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. This has taken a huge amount of time and effort - congratulations to them all. Our year 10 group has now started their journey and I look forward to working with them and Mr Thomas at the Saturday training days.

This term always seems the toughest, due to the short days and generally miserable weather. Hopefully the new term will bring improved weather and further opportunities for us to return to more ‘normal’ activities.

I have been asked by the Trust’s Data Protection Officer to make you aware of the following:

We are writing to update you on a new data collection process we will be assisting the Government with.  The Department for Education are focussing on improving attendance in Schools.  They wish to collate detailed attendance data from all Schools and Academies.  Access to better data is one thing that will allow the Department for Education to achieve their goal to improve attendance.  Access to data at a national, regional and local level will both help highlight particular challenges and identify solutions that are working well and can be shared. 


The Department for Education will be accessing personal pupil data such as name, date of birth, etc. 


To enable this process to work effectively, the Department for Education have procured the services of Wonde, a data processor.  Wonde will provide the software that essentially pulls the data from our School’s databases and places it in to the databases of the Department for Education.  Wonde act as a data processor meaning they are prevented legally from using or sharing any personal data.  Wonde can only process personal data for the reason this task is intended and as advised by the data controller (The Department for Education).


Our School and the Department for Education act as data controllers.  This means we each require a lawful basis to process the attendance data.  There are six available lawful bases for processing data.  No single basis is ‘better’ or more important than any other.  Which basis is most appropriate will depend on the purpose for processing the data.


Consent is one lawful basis for processing, but there are alternatives. Consent is not inherently better or more important than these alternatives.  Consent is not always required when processing data and other lawful bases should always be considered.  For this task consent is not required due to the nature of the task as the Department for Education are processing on the basis of ‘Public Task’.  The school have a legal duty to provide the Department for Education with the data they request.   The Information Commissioner’s Office explain that to rely on the basis of Public Task you must meet one of the following criteria:


  • Process personal data ‘in the exercise of official authority’. This covers public functions and powers that are set out in law; or
  • Process personal data to perform a specific task in the public interest that is set out in law.

This particular task for the Department for Education meets the above criteria and therefore no consent from parents to share their children’s data is required.


I hope everyone has a good holiday and has the opportunity to relax and recharge. I look forward to seeing the students back at school on Monday 28th February.

Mrs Millar

Written by Mrs Millar
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