Legal information for return to teaching

Privacy Notice: Return to Teaching Information Service

Who we are

This work is being carried out by the Department for Education (DfE). For the purpose of data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for the personal data processed as part of The Return to Teaching Information Service.

How we will use your information

We receive and process the personal data you provided when completing the Return to Teaching registration form, because you have requested that we provide you with tailored advice and information about returning to teach. This will help you to make an informed decision about returning to teach.

Specifically we will use your data in the following ways:

The information you provide in the Return to Teaching registration form is shared with our Return to Teaching telephone helpline and web chat service to ensure that they have an accurate picture of your preferences and circumstances in order to provide a tailored service and information to you. Any subsequent information you provide to the helpline will also be recorded in order to continue to provide you with a tailored service.

We use your contact details to communicate with you by telephone and to send you email, SMS and postal messages, providing you with information about a career in teaching. We may also contact you to gauge your interest in taking part in market research. In each message you will be given the opportunity to unsubscribe from further communications.

The information we collect from you (such as your name, contact details and subject preferences) is used for identification, administration, analysis and targeting purposes. We share your information with trusted partners working under a legal contract on our behalf in order for us to continue to provide you with relevant information about a career in teaching and the return to teach programme or ‘the service’. These partners are required to strictly comply with our privacy policies that prohibit them using your personal data for any other purpose.

The information we collect from you may be used to deliver tailored messages on third party platforms, including social media - like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Google search. Your information will also be used to identify and advertise to people similar to you, who may also be interested in our service.

We also share data to track your application in order to determine the effectiveness of our service and improve it for you and future applicants. It also allows us to ensure that public funds are being spent effectively.

Your personal data, supplied for the purposes of this service, will be used as long as it is deemed necessary. We will delete this information if you request us to do so.

If you do not supply us with your personal information then we cannot provide a tailored advice and information service or offer you access to the services available.  However, without registering, you can still access general information via the helpline and website.

The nature of your personal data we will be using

The categories of your personal data, supplied by you through the registration form and other interactions with us, that we will be using for this service are:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Contact telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Teaching subject preferences
  • Fluency in French, German or Spanish
  • If you’ve been on a caring-related career break
  • Year you last taught as a teacher
  • Your intended return to teaching year
  • Teaching reference number
  • IP Address
  • Additional supplementary information you provide during communication with the helpline and/or personal advisors that will help us to aid you in progressing your application and continue to improve our service. 

Why our use of your personal data is lawful

In order for our use of your personal data to be lawful, we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation. You have requested to receive this service and therefore, together with this privacy notice (about the use of your personal data), you have agreed to your data being used to deliver the service. However, the condition that we are relying on (once you have agreed to receiving the service) is that the Department for Education is carrying out its public interest task in making sure there is a sufficient supply of qualified teachers in England.

Who we will make your personal data available to

We sometimes need to make personal data available to other organisations. These include contracted partners (as mentioned above) who help us deliver the service on our behalf.

How long we will keep your personal data

We will only keep your personal data for as long as we need it for the purpose(s) of this service, after which point it will be securely destroyed. Please note that under the Data Protection Act, and in compliance with the relevant conditions, we can lawfully keep personal data processed purely for research purposes indefinitely.

Your data protection rights

You have the right:

  • to ask us for access to information about you that we hold
  • to have your personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing
  • to restrict our processing of your personal data (i.e. permitting its storage but no further processing)
  • to object to direct marketing (including profiling) and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics - but this will mean you no longer can receive the service

If you need to contact us regarding any of the above, please do so via the Get into Teaching website.   

Further information about your data protection rights appears on the Information Commissioner’s website

Viewing and deleting your data and the right to lodge a complaint

You have the right to delete your data. You can do this by contacting the helpline on 0800 085 0971.

If at any time you would like to view a copy of the data we hold on you, you can request a copy of all your data by contacting the helpline on 0800 085 0971 or emailing 

If you are unhappy with our use of your personal data, please let us know by contacting 

Alternatively, you have the right to raise any concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website 

Last updated

We may need to update this privacy notice periodically so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated on 24 May 2018.

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