Hi DD's dad has just had an email from a school we applied to inviting him and DD to an Easter event. We can't work out where they got his email from apart from our application. This has got my head in a spin. Does this suggest DD has a place there? (It was our third choice) or that they have just added all the emails to a list for publicising events. Which seems a bit dodgy to me I don't think they should be using application emails for marketing. Is it even allowed? I know the only way to know is to ask the school directly but I thought no harm asking for mnetters opinions while my head jumps to conclusions....
I got an email about a school trip from the secondary we wanted for our DD. Queried it at the time and they apologised - IT error - but now we've had the offer and she does have a place there. So could be the same in your case.
If this is a primary school then this is wrong. They should not be contacting anybody until the places are allocated mid-April. The schools themselves will not formally know who has been allocated a place at the school yet, they usually get a list about a week before they are made public, so it is intriguing how they got the email address. By doing this and assuming they have contacted all that they could they are giving an unacceptable belief that you do in deed have a place at the school. It might be interesting to email the school and say considering coming but could you confirm whether we have a place at the school or not. Will be very interested in their response because it might land them in all sorts of trouble. Could it be that it is a faith school and you had to submit some ancillary form directly to the school?
You should email them reminding them of their obligations under the Data Protection Act and the new Genera Data Protection Regulations which come into force in May.
To the Data Protection Officer, xx school,
Subject Access Request
We were recently contacted by xx school about <blah>. I do not believe that we have consented to the use of our personal data by xx school. Please could you provide details of the data you hold relating to (names of family members) and the lawful basis under which you have acquired our data, and the basis under which you are retaining and it.
Thanks everyone. If we'd contacted them in any way using our email I wouldn't mind, but I'm not happy they just seem to have plundered the applications. It's reassuring to know they won't know yet if DD is going there. I would be pretty surprised as we are closer to our two top choice schools (although hear are both oversubscribed and this one undersubscribed so it could still happen). We can't go to the event as it's when we're at work.
The new GDPR has 6 legal bases for processing data. For marketing it's a little ambiguous - you don't necessarily have to consent, if there is a legitimate interest to communicate with you.
There may be a legitimate interest if you have previously expressed that you might be looking at the school for your child to attend in future, and I'm assuming that's what happened. You couldn't necessarily call it spam, as you have provided your email address to them, and thereby showed an interest in joining the school, so they could therefore imply you would be happy to receive information related to potential future admission. However, a fundamental principle of the GDPR (which isn't in effect until 25 May 2018) is transparency, ie when you give an organisation your data, they MUST share with you what they plan to do with that info, where is it held, how long for, etc. Did the school have a privacy notice in place on the admissions portal? Did you read it?
I had a similar situation recently. I applied to attend an Open Event at a school and a couple of weeks' later, my daughter and I were invited to attend a theatre production. It was absolutely fine with me as I was interested to visit and have an informal introduction to what happened there.