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Privacy notice - free school meals

Who are we and what do we do?


Middlesbrough Council runs a free school meals service that handles applications on behalf of schools and academies.

What type of personal data do we collect and how do we collect it?


We collect information directly from people who apply for free school meals for pupils. We also collect personal data from other Council services and from other organisations including schools, academies and Government departments. The data we collect can include names, telephone number and email address, home address and post code, Unique Pupil Number, school or academy, family financial and benefit situation, National Insurance Number or National Asylum Support Service Number, and free school meals eligibility.

How the Law allows us to use your personal data


We use this data to help us deliver our ‘public tasks’. The laws that allow us to handle these applications and to enrol pupils in Free School Meals include the Education Act 1996 and Localism Act 2011.

What is your personal data used for?


We use personal data to check and decide on applications for Free School Meals. We also use data we already have to check if families of pupils, who have not already applied, could be missing out on Free School Meals. If parents or carers do not object to the automatic enrolment of the pupil, we will do this for them.

Will your personal data be shared?


We share information between Council Teams to identify pupils who might be eligible for Free School Meals but do not currently get them. We also share information with the Department for Education to check if pupil and families are eligible and after we have automatically enrolled them we share that information with schools and academies.

If pupils live or go to school in an area outside of Middlesbrough, we may share information with other councils to help us or their own local council to identify and check if they could get Free School Meals and to automatically enrol them. We also share data with the Cabinet Office for the National Fraud Initiative.

How do we keep your personal data secure?


We use the following measures to ensure that your personal data is secure: data protection and security policies, information security incident reporting, data and device encryption, system and data access controls, user accounts and passwords, physical and environmental security, staff vetting practices, staff training and awareness, data back-ups, ICT network penetration testing, and business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

How long will we keep your personal data?


We only keep your data for as long as the Law requires it, and this is set out in our ‘Records Management Retention Schedules’.

Is your personal data processed overseas?


We do not send personal data outside of the United Kingdom.



We do not use information for direct marketing. But, we will use your information to contact you and check if you object to the automatic enrolment of your child in Free School Meals.

What are your information rights?


Your Information Rights are set out in law and, subject to some exceptions, you have the:

  • Right to rectification - to ask for information to be corrected
  • Right to erasure - to have your personal data deleted
  • Right to object - to how your data is used
  • Right to restriction - to request limits on how your data is used
  • Right to portability - to request that we move your data to another organisation
  • Right of subject access - to request a copy of data the Council holds about you

Making a complaint


If you have a concerns about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner's Office. Visit the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.



If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice or your information rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 500, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FT
Phone: 01642 245432
Email: dataprotection@middlesbrough.gov.uk