Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Assessment Services privacy notice

Privacy notice for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Assessment Services.

On  25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became applicable and the current Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) will be updated by a new Act giving effect to its provisions. Before that time the DPA will continue to apply.

The legislation requires us to be fair and transparent with people when collecting and using their personal information. To comply with the legislation, the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team issue a specific privacy notice which applies to all families and young people over 16. This explains how personal information will be used, what for, who it might be shared with and why.

The information you provide helps us to support you and your child and make sure that we meet our legal duties and responsibilities.

This information includes personal characteristics, details of special educational needs and disabilities, educational provision, medical information and details of the services we provide.

Data Controller

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) complies with the Data Protection Act and the GDPR and is registered as a ‘Data Controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Reg. No. Z6413427).

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) for WSCC can be found on the WSCC privacy notice.

We ensure that your personal data is processed fairly and lawfully, is accurate, is kept secure and is retained for no longer than is necessary.

The legal basis for processing personal data

We process personal data because it is necessary in order to comply with the Authority’s legal obligations and to enable it to perform tasks carried out in the public interest.

How we use information

We collect and hold personal information relating to children, young people, parents, carers and other family members, we may also receive information from schools, other local authorities, the Department for Education (DfE).

We use this personal data in accordance with the WSCC privacy notice and specifically to:

  • provide you or your child with appropriate services
  • measure whether our services are improving provision for children with SEND
  • help us develop and improve our services
  • complete statistical returns to Government departments

Local Authorities are required to pass on some information (but not the names of individual children) to the DfE who use it to help with their policy development, Local Authority (LA) performance management and funding, and to assist with the development of good practice. Health Partners are also provided with information to assist them with understanding the health needs of children living in West Sussex and this is used for the planning, commissioning and development of health services.

Who we share data with

We may pass data to:

  • internal departments
  • other local authorities (education, social care and relevant housing and employment and other services)
  • the governing bodies of schools, including non-maintained special schools
  • the governing bodies of further education colleges and sixth form colleges
  • the proprietors of academies (including free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools)
  • the management committees of pupil referral units
  • independent schools and independent specialist providers approved under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014
  • all early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that are funded by the local authority
  • the National Health Service Commissioning Board
  • clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
  • NHS Trusts
  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Local Health Boards
  • Youth Offending Teams and relevant youth custodial establishments
  • The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)
  • other third-party organisations, as allowed by law
  • other partner agencies that provide services on our behalf
  • agencies with whom we have a duty to co-operate, such as police.

If you require more information about how the LA, or the Department for Education, store and use this data, go to the following websites:

Retention periods

Personal data will not be retained for longer than necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected. For those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities, data will be retained for 25 years from date of birth.


You have the right to:

  • be informed of data processing (which is covered by this privacy notice)
  • access information (also known as a Subject Access Request)
  • have inaccuracies corrected
  • have information erased
  • restrict processing
  • data portability
  • intervention in respect of automated decision making (automated decision making is rarely operated within WSCC)
  • withdraw consent
  • complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

To exercise any of these rights, contact your Planning Co-Ordinator in the SEN Assessment Team or email SENSupportTeam@westsussex.gov.uk.

Withdrawal of consent

The lawful basis upon which WSCC process personal data is that it is necessary in order to comply with its legal obligations and to enable it to perform tasks carried out in the public interest. However, where personal data is solely processed on the basis of consent, you will have the right to withdraw that consent.

Complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may wish to ask for a review of our decision by contacting the DPO.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our internal review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Last updated:
30 May 2024
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.