Connecting Schools with Nature Privacy Policy

What is the purpose of this document? 

The British Ecological Society is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. 

This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you when applying or taking part in our “Connecting schools to Nature in North East England” project, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). 

It applies to all teachers, pupils, pupil’s parents, environmental educators, other volunteers, and staff taking part in the project. 

The British Ecological Society is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice. 

This notice applies to all participants of our project. This includes teachers, pupils, pupils’ parents, environmental educators, other volunteers, and staff taking part in the project. This notice does not form part of any contract to provide services. We may update this notice at any time. 

It is important that you read this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information. 

Data protection principles 

We will comply with data protection law. This states that the personal information we hold about you must be: 

  1. Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way
  2. Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes
  3. Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes
  4. Accurate and kept up to date
  5. Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about
  6. Kept securely

What information do we hold about you? 

We will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:  

  • Personal contact details such as name, telephone numbers, email addresses, school/place of work 
  • Date of birth (environmental educators) 
  • Home address (pupils, parents) 
  • Occupation / postcode of school you work for (teachers) / place of study (student environmental educators) 
  • Photographs (where separate permission is obtained) 

We may also collect, store and use the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal information: 

  • Gender 
  • Ethnicity  
  • Dietary requirements 
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health, sickness and management of those conditions; 
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences but only where we need to conduct a disclosure and baring check on our volunteer environmental educators and BES employees 

How is your personal information collected? 

As a general rule we collect personal information directly from you. If you are under the age of 18, we may capture data from your parent or guardian.  

What legal basis do we rely on to process your personal information? 

We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances: 

  1. Where we need to perform the contract we have entered into with you 
  1. Where we need to comply with a legal obligation, for example health and safety reporting 
  1. Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests. 
  1. Where we have your consent, for example for the use of photographs 

We may also use your special category (sensitive) personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare: 

  1. Where we need to protect your vital interests, for example in the case of a medical emergency 

What will we use your personal information for? 

We use all the categories of information in the list above primarily to allow us to perform our contract with you and to enable us to comply with legal obligations. In some circumstances we may use your personal information to pursue legitimate interests of our own or those of third parties, provided your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests. The situations in which we will process your personal information are listed below. 

  • To select teachers, schools, and environmental educators to participate in the project 
  • To allow us to contact you and make arrangements for the project such as inviting you to training workshops, delivering events, or for general project logistics 
  • To create and maintain participant accounts on the project’s digital platform (‘Encounters Hub’). Participants must adhere to the BES Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policy when using the Encounters Hub. To evaluate and report impacts from the project to our funders (National Lottery Heritage Fund via the UK Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund) or for wider promotional purposes  
  • To provide a duty of care and ensure your wellbeing 
  • To be able to support you in the event that you are unwell 
  • For health and safety and in emergency situations 
  • If you are a BES employee or volunteer, to ensure you have a clear DBS check 

Some of the above grounds for processing will overlap and there may be several grounds which justify our use of your personal information. 


Information Sharing 

For the purposes of the project, we may share specific personal information (e.g. names, DBS certification status, general location) with other participants if this is deemed necessary for logistical reasons. For example, when pairing schools with an assigned volunteer Environmental Educator, we will share the names of those participants involved in that pairing.  


If you fail to provide personal information 

If you fail to provide certain information when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have entered into with you or we may be prevented from complying with our legal obligations. 

Change of purpose 

We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which we collected it.  

Please note that we may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law. 

Automated decision making 

Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. We are allowed to use automated decision-making in the following circumstances: 

  1. Where we have notified you of the decision and given you 21 days to request a reconsideration. 
  1. Where it is necessary to perform the contract with you and appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights. 
  1. In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent and where appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights. 

If we make an automated decision on the basis of any particularly sensitive personal information, we must have either your explicit written consent or it must be justified in the public interest, and we must also put in place appropriate measures to safeguard your rights. 

You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making, unless we have a lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you. 

Disclosure of your data to third parties 

We may have to disclose some of your personal data to third parties. We require third parties to respect the security of your data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We will only ever disclose the minimum personal data needed to a third party for the required purpose and only where we are satisfied that the third party has a specific and genuine need. 

Why might you disclose my personal information with third parties? 

We may disclose your personal information to third parties where required by law, where it is necessary to deliver the service to you or protect your or another persons vital interests. 

Which third-parties may we disclose your data to? 

For this project, data we collect may be shared with our project partners MammalWeb and SMASH_UK. In the case of an incident, we may share your data to the emergency services. 

Data security 

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, mentors and third parties who have a need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.  

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so. 

Data retention   

How long will you use my information for? 

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or evaluation and reporting requirements. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements. 

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. Unless there is a legal or statutory reason, we will delete all of your data with the exception of your name, affiliation, and role within the project  immediately after the project  has ended. This remaining data will then be retained for 5 years. 

Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction   

Your duty to inform us of changes 

It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes during your working relationship with us. 

Your rights in connection with personal information 

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to: 

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it. 
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected. 
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below). 
  • Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. 
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it. 
  • Request the transfer of your personal information to another party. 
  • If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact the Human Resources Manager in writing. 

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances. 

What we may need from you 

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. 

Right to withdraw consent   

In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact us at:  Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law. 

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the data protection lead. You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues. 

Changes to this privacy notice   

We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time, and we will provide you with a new privacy notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information. 

We keep our privacy notices under regular review. This notice was last updated on 11th March 2021.