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SCIS Privacy Policy and Use of Cookies

This website is operated by the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS).

SCIS aims to provide a safe, secure user experience for all visitors to its website and is committed to protecting their privacy. The purpose of this policy is to explain how any personal data collected through this website is used.

By submitting personal details to SCIS, visitors will be deemed as having understood and agreed to the use of them as described in this Privacy Policy. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email SCIS at

Collection and Retention of Information

SCIS uses your IP address in it web statistics software. This allows it to gather broad demographic information about visitors and to monitor the frequency with which visitors return to the SCIS website.

Use of Your Information by the Scottish Council of Independent Schools

SCIS uses the information it gathers from the website to respond to enquiries and improve the service offered. Where personal data is submitted, it may be used for promotional purposes and to gain feedback about the service offered.

Disclosure of Information to Others

SCIS does not disclose to third parties any information about visitors to its website, such as their personal or demographic information, except as detailed, below:

SCIS may disclose such information if legally required to do so, if requested to do so by a governmental entity or regulatory authority or if it believes in good faith that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Scottish Council of Independent Schools; (c) prevent a crime or protect national security; or (d) protect the personal safety of users or the public.

It is SCIS's policy to disclose information to third parties only as required by law or when explicitly requested to do so by a visitor.

Use of Cookies

Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

A requirement of new legislation which takes effect on 26 May 2012, SCIS has set out, below, details of its use of Cookies and how they are stored:

You may have read about new cookie legislation - Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011. The legislation is subject to much discussion and many people wonder what it means for individuals and for organisations. We've provided some starting information, below, to let you understand how we use cookies at SCIS.

Cookies are tiny text files stored on your device. They come from the websites that you visit and are stored by your web browser. Almost every website uses cookies and many sites would fail to work without them. The vast majority are innocuous - most do one of four very simple tasks:

  • Improving the use of a website according to your preferences
  • Helping to smooth your journey through an e-commerce process as you fill your basket
  • Tracking advertising campaigns
  • Providing the website owner with site usage data (which pages are most popular and the paths that website visitors take to find and navigate through the site)

At SCIS we use one session handling cookie in the Schools' Members' Area to keep passwords alive while members are logged into the service. No personal information is stored with this cookie. We also use a Google Analytics cookie to help us see which pages are working better for our website visitors - we can then use this information to make improvements to our website content and the site in general.

Cookies can be either first party or third party cookies. First party refers to the website owner, so in our case SCIS is the website owner. Some sites (not ours) use advertising networks to display a series of adverts. These networks often place ‘third party' cookies on visitor devices. These simply track which adverts have been served to different visitors.

Many cookies are short lived things - at the end of your session the cookie is removed. Others may persist for a period of time, to allow website owners to, for example, identify frequently returning visitors.

Commitment to Data Security

SCIS takes reasonable precautions to keep visitors' personal information secure and has put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial systems and procedures to safeguard the information collected. SCIS cannot guarantee the security of any information visitors disclose online, and they do so at their own risk.  



The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) represents independent day, boarding and Additional Support Needs schools in Scotland.

This privacy notice is intended to cover the activities of SCIS in how we deal with our member schools. It sets out our rules on data protection and the legal conditions that must be satisfied in relation to the obtaining, handling, processing, storage, transportation and destruction of personal information.

The data held by SCIS is primarily that of the member school but, within that, there are a number of school employees for whom data is held. This gives SCIS two clear strands to its privacy policy: the business to business relationship with schools and the data control of the contact data for those employed by the member schools.


This policy is intended to provide information about how SCIS will use (or "process") personal data about individuals including current, past and prospective contacts within member schools; and within other organisations with whom it has commercial and other relationships.

This information is provided because Data Protection Law (which means all legislation and regulatory requirements in force from time to time relating to the use of personal data and the privacy of electronic communications, including, without limitation (i) any data protection legislation from time to time in force in the UK including the Data Protection Act 2018 or any successor legislation, as well as (ii) the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) and any other directly applicable European Union regulation relating to data protection and privacy (for so long as and to the extent that the law of the European Union has legal effect in the UK).) gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. Any individual interacting with SCIS is required to read this Privacy Notice and understand SCIS obligations to its entire membership.

This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information SCIS may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data online or in paper form.

This Privacy Notice also applies in addition to the Council’s other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:

  • the SCIS policy on taking, storing and using images;
  • the SCIS retention of records policy, and
  • the SCIS health and safety policies, including as to how concerns or incidents are recorded.


SCIS has appointed John Edward as the Data Compliance Manager, who will deal with all requests and enquiries concerning how SCIS use your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law.

Contact details for the Data Compliance Manager are


In order to carry out its ordinary duties to member schools, those individuals used as contacts within the schools, and anyone making an enquiry with SCIS, we need to process a wide range of personal data about individuals as part of its daily operation. Some of this activity SCIS will need to carry out in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its member schools. Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with our legitimate interests, or the legitimate interests of another, provided that these are not outweighed by the impact on individuals and provided it does not involve special or sensitive types of data.

SCIS expects that the following uses will fall within that category of its “legitimate interests”:

  • To provide member services, including professional development, training, advice and guidance, and monitoring schools' progress and needs;
  • Maintaining relationships with former members and SCIS community, including direct marketing;
  • For the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law (such as tax, diversity or gender pay gap analysis);
  • To enable relevant authorities to monitor the Council's performance and to intervene or assist with incidents as appropriate;
  • To monitor (as appropriate) use of the SCIS IT and communications systems in accordance with our relevant IT policies and procedures;
  • To make use of photographic images, on the SCIS website, by sharing with external media, and (where appropriate) on the SCIS social media channels where necessary for promotional or marketing reasons;
  • To carry out or cooperate with any internal or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process; and
  • Where otherwise reasonably necessary for the Council's purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the Council.


This will include by way of example:

  • names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
  • bank details and other financial information;
  • images of individuals engaging in SCIS activities and events.


Generally, SCIS receives personal data from the individual directly. This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication. However, in some cases personal data will be supplied by third parties (for example another school, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources.


Occasionally, SCIS will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as:

  • professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
  • government authorities (e.g. HMRC, police or the local authority); and
  • Appropriate regulatory bodies e.g. Education Scotland, Care Inspectorate, OSCR or the Information Commissioner.

For the most part, personal data collected by SCIS will remain within the Council and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis).

Finally, in accordance with Data Protection Law, some of the school’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, web developers or cloud storage providers. This is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the member school’s specific directions.


SCIS will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep for a legitimate and lawful reason.

If you have any specific queries about how our retention policy is applied or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact The Data Compliance Manager. However, please bear in mind that SCIS will often have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such a request.

A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes, for example; and even where you have requested we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of the fact to fulfil your wishes (called a "suppression record").


Individuals have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand personal data about them held by the Council, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or have it transferred to others, or for SCIS to stop processing it – but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.

Any individual wishing to access or amend their personal data or wishing it to be transferred to another person or organisation, or who has some other objection to how their personal data is used, should put their request in writing to the Data Compliance Manager.

SCIS will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within statutory time-limits.

SCIS will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information. If the request for information is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, SCIS may ask you to reconsider, or require a proportionate fee (but only where Data Protection Law allows it).

Requests that cannot be fulfilled

You should be aware that the right of access is limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt from the right of access. This will include information which identifies other individuals or information which is subject to legal privilege (for example legal advice given to or sought by the Council, or documents prepared in connection with a legal action).

You may have heard of the "right to be forgotten". However, we will sometimes have compelling reasons to refuse specific requests to amend, delete or stop processing your personal data: for example, a legal requirement, or where it falls within a legitimate interest identified in this Privacy Notice. All such requests will be considered on their own merits.


Where SCIS is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time. Examples where we do rely on consent include certain types of uses of images. Please be aware however that SCIS may not be relying on consent but may have another lawful reason to process the personal data in question, even without your consent.

That reason will usually have been asserted under this Privacy Notice or may otherwise exist under some form of contract or agreement with you or the member school or other third party you are employed by.

Whose rights?

The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates.


SCIS will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up to date and accurate as possible. Individuals must please notify your SCIS contact of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them.

An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate or information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law); please see above for details of why SCIS may need to process your data, and who you may contact if you disagree.

SCIS will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to Council systems. All staff and Council members will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training.


SCIS will update this Privacy Notice from time to time. You should check the SCIS website from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 25 May 2018. Any substantial changes that affect your rights will be provided to you directly as far as is reasonably practicable.


Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the Data Compliance Manager using the following contact details:

If an individual believes that SCIS has not complied with this policy or acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise SCIS complaints/grievance procedure and should also notify the Data Compliance Manager. You can also make a referral to or lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with SCIS before involving the regulator.

Drafted May 2018