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Virtual School/ REALAC Privacy Notice

Who we are and what we do 

Gateshead Virtual School is part of Gateshead Council and formerly known as REALAC. It is responsible for:  

  • monitoring and raising the educational achievement of children in our care 
  • promoting the educational achievement of those children previously looked after 
  • providing information and advice to parents and educators  
  • working closely with social care, schools and settings, carers and other relevant multi-agency teams 

Our services also extend to Gateshead children who are children in our care who are residing out of borough. We also hold strategic duties with regards to children with a social worker. 

This privacy notice provides specific information about how we process your personal data. It is an addition to the information contained in our Corporate Privacy Notice.   

What type of information is collected about you  

We collect personal information to understand your needs and provide services. Information may include: 

  • name  
  • date of birth 
  • address  
  • school/college 
  • attendance  
  • DfE unique pupil number 
  • educational attainment  
  • racial/ethnic origin 
  • health information 
  • special educational needs 

How we collect information about you  

We collect information about you from various sources to ensure that we meet your needs, including: 

  • through the school  
  • Via your social worker  
  • through any other people supporting you whilst you are a child in our care 

Why we need your information  

Our purpose for collecting personal information is to enable us to understand you so we can champion your educational progress, attainment and attendance. 

The lawful basis for our processing is: 

  • task in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority 

Our lawful basis for processing of sensitive personal data is:  

  • reasons of substantial public interest (with a basis in law) 

Who your information can be shared with  

Our Corporate Privacy notice explains information sharing the Council carries out. This sharing fulfils statutory obligations, legal requirements and service delivery. Gateshead Virtual School can share your information with: 

  • school 
  • social workers 
  • foster carers 

Our lawful basis for this sharing is 'task in the public interest 'and your consent is not required.  

If we wish to share your information with other council services or third parties for purposes outside of those listed above we will ask your permission.   

How long we will keep your information  

We keep your information for as long as we need to provide services to you. We may also need to keep your information in accordance with legal or other obligations. Where we have no need to keep your data it will be securely destroyed. We keep a Record of Processing Activity (a requirement under the GDPR). This sets out the specific retention periods applicable in different circumstances. For more information please contact 

Where your information is held  

We hold personal information in secure electronic systems on Gateshead council servers. 

How you can update your information  

Our delivery of efficient services depends on the accuracy of your information. 

Please inform us of any changes to the following: 

  • email address 
  • personal circumstances 
  • postal address 
  • any of the other information we hold 

Please contact: 

Your information rights  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.  

Marketing and e-newsletters  

Please see our email marketing privacy notice.  

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.  

Protecting your information  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.   

Data Protection Officer  

Data Protection Officer  

Civic Centre  

Regent Street  


NE8 1HH  

0191 433 3000  

Information Commissioner's Office  

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body for upholding information rights. Visit their website to find out more about your rights under Data Protection law, and what to expect from us. 

For privacy practices or data protection rights concerns, contact the Information Commissioner's Office:  

Information Commissioner's Office 

Wycliffe House 

Water Lane 


Cheshire SK9 5AF  

0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745