Privacy Policy



Thornton College is the data controller for the purposes of the relevant legislation (“Data Protection Law”); and (ii) is an Independent Day and Boarding College for girls aged 3-18 based in Milton Keynes.  Thornton College is a part of the wider charitable trust “Charity For Roman Catholic Purposes Administered In Connection With The English Province Of The Community Of The Religious Of Jesus And Mary” registered with the Charity Commission under number 247358.

This Privacy Notice covers the activities of the College and the alumnae organisation known as ‘Old Thorntonians’ and the Parent Fundraising association ‘Friends of Thornton’.

The College has appointed a Data Compliance Lead, who reports to the Bursar. Together, they will endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this Policy and the principles of the GDPR. Any questions about the operation of this policy or any concerns that the policy has not been followed should be referred in the first instance to the Data Compliance Lead.


This notice is intended to provide information about how the College will use (or “process”) personal data about individuals including: its staff; its current, past and prospective pupils; and their parents, carers or guardians (referred to in this policy as “parents”). Collectively, we refer to these individuals as the College’s community.

This information is provided because Data Protection Law gives individuals rights to understand how their data is used. Staff, parents and pupils are all encouraged to read this Privacy Notice and understand the College’s obligations to its entire community. This policy sits alongside our school GDPR Policy, copies of which can be requested by contacting the school administrative team or Miss Kurze-Kinton-Heap (

This Privacy Notice applies alongside any other information the College may provide about a particular use of personal data, for example when collecting data via an online or paper form.

This Privacy Notice also applies in addition to the College’s other relevant terms and conditions and policies, including:

  • any contract between the College and its staff or the parents of pupils;
  • the College’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • the College’s CCTV policy;
  • the College’s retention of records policy;
  • the College’s safeguarding, pastoral, or health and safety policies, including as to how concerns or incidents are recorded; and
  • the College’s IT policies, including its eSafety policy and Lone Working policy.

Anyone who works for, or acts on behalf of, the College (including staff, volunteers, governors and service providers) should also be aware of and comply with this Privacy Notice, the College’s data protection policy for staff, which also provides further information about how personal data about those individuals will be used.


The College has appointed Miss Suzanne Kurze-Kinton-Heap as Data Compliance Lead and Mrs Jane Sanders, Bursar as Data Protection Co-ordinator who will deal with all your requests and enquiries concerning the College’s uses of your personal data (see section on Your Rights below) and endeavour to ensure that all personal data is processed in compliance with this policy and Data Protection Law.


In order to carry out its ordinary duties to staff, pupils and parents, the College needs to process a wide range of personal data about individuals (including current, past and prospective staff, pupils or parents) as part of its daily operation.

Some of this activity the College will need to carry out in order to fulfil its legal rights, duties or obligations – including those under a contract with its staff, or parents of its pupils or former pupils.

Other uses of personal data will be made in accordance with the College’s legitimate interests, or the legitimate interests of another, provided that these are not outweighed by the impact on individuals, and provided it does not involve special or sensitive types of data.

The College expects that the following uses will fall within that category of its (or its community’s) “legitimate interests”:

  • For the purposes of pupil selection (and to confirm the identity of prospective pupils and their parents);
  • To provide education services, including online resources, musical education, physical training or spiritual development, career services, and extra-curricular activities to pupils, and monitoring pupils’ progress and educational needs;
  • Maintaining relationships with alumni (Old Thorntonians) and the College community, including but not limited to direct marketing, newsletters, running our mentoring programme, recommending matches, events or fundraising activity;
  • For the purposes of donor due diligence, and to confirm the identity of prospective donors and their background and relevant interests;
  • For the purposes of management planning and forecasting, research and statistical analysis, including that imposed or provided for by law (such as tax, diversity or gender pay gap analysis);
  • To obtain your feedback and views about the College and services we provide
  • To enable relevant authorities to monitor the College’s performance and to intervene or assist with incidents as appropriate;
  • To give and receive information and references about past, current and prospective pupils, including relating to outstanding fees or payment history, to/from any educational institution that the pupil attended or where it is proposed they attend; and to provide references to potential employers of past pupils;
  • To enable pupils to take part in national or other assessments, and to publish the results of public examinations or other achievements of pupils of the College;
  • To safeguard pupils’ welfare and provide appropriate pastoral care;
  • To monitor (as appropriate) use of the College’s IT and communications systems in accordance with the College’s E Safety Policy.
  • To make use of photographic images of pupils in College publications, on the College website and (where appropriate) on the College’s social media channels in accordance with the College’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children;
  • To make use of stories about or achievements of pupils in College publications, on the College website and (where appropriate) on the College’s social media channels;
  • For security purposes, including CCTV in accordance with the College’s CCTV policy;
  • To carry out or cooperate with any College or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process; and
  • Where otherwise reasonably necessary for the College’s purposes, including to obtain appropriate professional advice and insurance for the College.

In addition, the College will on occasion need to process special category personal data (concerning health, ethnicity, religion, biometrics or sexual life) or criminal records information (such as when carrying out DBS checks) in accordance with rights or duties imposed on it by law, including as regards safeguarding and employment, or from time to time by explicit consent where required. These reasons will include:

  • To safeguard pupils’ or staff welfare and provide appropriate pastoral (and where necessary, medical) care, and to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency, incident or accident, including but not limited to disclosing details of an individual’s medical condition or other relevant information where it is in the individual’s or school’s interests to do so: for example for medical advice, for social protection, for disease control safeguarding, and cooperation with police or social services, for insurance purposes or to caterers or organisers of College trips who need to be made aware of dietary or medical needs;
  • To provide educational services in the context of any special educational needs of a pupil;
  • To provide spiritual education in the context of any religious beliefs;
  • In connection with employment of its staff, for example DBS checks, welfare, union membership or pension plans;
  • As part of any College or external complaints, disciplinary or investigation process that involves such data, for example if there are SEN, health or safeguarding elements; or
  • For legal and regulatory purposes (for example child protection, diversity monitoring and health and safety) and to comply with its legal obligations and duties of care.


This will include by way of example:

  • names, addresses, date of birth, family relationships, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact details;
  • car details (about those who use our car parking facilities);
  • bank details and other financial information, e.g. about parents who pay fees to the College or staff who work for the college
  • past, present and prospective pupils’ academic, disciplinary, admissions and attendance records (including information about any special needs), and examination scripts and marks;
  • personnel files, including in connection with academics, employment or safeguarding;
  • where appropriate, information about individuals’ health and welfare, and contact details for their next of kin;
  • references given or received by the College about pupils, and relevant information provided by previous educational establishments and/or other professionals or organisations working with pupils;
  • correspondence with and concerning staff, pupils and parents past and present; and
  • images of pupils and staff (and occasionally other individuals) engaging in College activities, and images captured by the College’s CCTV system (in accordance with the College’s policy on taking, storing and using images of children);
  • In addition to the above, if you use the Old Thonrtonians website we may also collect
    • Participation in our events, emails, competitions, surveys and other activities
    • Donations made to [organisation]
    • Geo-location data (your geographical location based on your IP address)
    • Log-ins and activity on the website
    • A record of payments made via the website (but we do not store your credit/ debit card details as these are processed securely externally by a third-party payment provider) which could include event tickets, shop purchases or online donations
    • Consent options and communication preferences
    • Content (such as announcements, stories, photos, documents, comments, events, jobs) that you post on this website or provide to us by other means
    • Messages that you send to other community members via the direct messaging system when logged in to this website



Generally, the College receives personal data from the individual directly (including, in the case of pupils, from their parents). This may be via a form, or simply in the ordinary course of interaction or communication (including but not limited to post, email, SMS, telephone, social media, messages, website login, attendance at events, creating a profile on our websites or portals, or written notes and assessments).

However, in some cases personal data will be supplied by third parties (for example another College, or other professionals or authorities working with that individual); or collected from publicly available resources.


Occasionally, the College will need to share personal information relating to its community with third parties, such as:

  • professional advisers (e.g. lawyers, insurers, PR advisers and accountants);
  • government authorities (e.g. HMRC, DfE, PHE, police or the local authority);
  •  NHS health professionals including educational psychologists and school nurses;
  • examination boards;
  • appropriate regulatory bodies e.g. the Teaching Regulation Agency, the Independent Colleges Inspectorate, the Charity Commission or the Information Commissioner).
  • Other educational establishments e.g. if a student moves to a new setting

For the most part, personal data collected by the College will remain within the College, and will be processed by appropriate individuals only in accordance with access protocols (i.e. on a ‘need to know’ basis). Particularly strict rules of access apply in the context of:

  • medical records [held and accessed only by the College medical staff, or otherwise in accordance with express consent]; and
  • pastoral or safeguarding files.

However, a certain amount of any SEN pupil’s relevant information will need to be provided to staff more widely in the context of providing the necessary care and education that the pupil requires.

Staff, pupils and parents are reminded that the College is under duties imposed by law and statutory guidance (including Keeping Children Safe in Education) to record or report incidents and concerns that arise or are reported to it, in some cases regardless of whether they are proven, if they meet a certain threshold of seriousness in their nature or regularity. This is likely to include file notes on personnel or safeguarding files, and in some cases referrals to relevant authorities such as the LADO or police. For further information about this, please view the College’s Safeguarding Policy.

Finally, in accordance with Data Protection Law, some of the College’s processing activity is carried out on its behalf by third parties, such as IT systems, web developers, cloud storage providers, catering, travel and security companies. This is always subject to contractual assurances that personal data will be kept securely and only in accordance with the College’s specific directions.


The College will retain personal data securely and only in line with how long it is necessary to keep for a legitimate and lawful reason. For example, permission slips from trips will be destroyed upon return to school. Similarly, student work or internal assessments will be routinely returned to students or securely disposed of each year.  Typically, the legal recommendation for how long to keep ordinary staff and pupil personnel files is up to 7 years following departure from the College. However, incident reports and safeguarding files will need to be kept much longer, in accordance with specific legal requirements.  More detailed information is given in our GDPR Policy.

If you have any specific queries about how our retention policy is applied, or wish to request that personal data that you no longer believe to be relevant is considered for erasure, please contact our Data Compliance Lead. However, please bear in mind that the College will often have lawful and necessary reasons to hold on to some personal data even following such request.

A limited and reasonable amount of information will be kept for archiving purposes, for example; and even where you have requested we no longer keep in touch with you, we will need to keep a record of the fact in order to fulfil your wishes (called a “suppression record”).


The College will use the contact details of parents, alumni and other members of the College community to keep them updated about the activities of the College, or alumni and parent events of interest, including by sending updates and newsletters, by email and by post. Unless the relevant individual objects, the College will also:

  • Share personal data about parents and/or alumni, as appropriate, with organisations set up to help establish and maintain relationships with the College community, such as the ‘Old Thorntonians’ or ‘Friends of Thornton’ associations.
  • Contact parents and/or alumni (including via the organisations above) by post and email in order to promote and raise funds for the College and, where appropriate, other worthy causes;
  • If you have an online profile on this website you can update your consent options by logging-in and clicking on “My Settings” in your profile.  Scroll down to find your ‘Consent options’ where you will see a list of consents and the options “opt-in”, “opt-out” and “unspecified”.
  •  Via ‘My Settings’ you can also choose to hide your profile from Google, limit access to your profile so that it’s only viewable to your connections and adjust some of the automatic notifications that you receive from this website.  Please note that your name (but not full profile) may appear in various places around the community website, such as a ‘Recent Joiners’ box and in ‘Search’ results irrespective of the privacy settings you have selected.
  •  If we are using consent as our legal basis for processing your data, we must have an explicit “opt-in” from you for this specific type of processing.
  •  If we are using legitimate interests as our legal basis for processing your data, we will process your data responsibly in a way that you would reasonably expect, and you can opt-out at any stage.
  •  If you click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of one of our emails sent you will be automatically opted-out of these types of email communications in the future.
  •  If you want to contact us about your consent preferences please contact Jennifer Walker by email
  • Should you wish to limit or object to any such use, or would like further information about them, please contact any member of staff who will refer your request to the Data Compliance Lead. You always have the right to withdraw consent, where given, or otherwise object to direct marketing or fundraising. However, the College is nonetheless likely to retain some of your details (not least to ensure that no more communications are sent to that particular address, email or telephone number).


Individuals have various rights under Data Protection Law to access and understand personal data about them held by the College, and in some cases ask for it to be erased or amended or have it transferred to others, or for the College to stop processing it – but subject to certain exemptions and limitations.

Any individual wishing to access or amend their personal data, or wishing it to be transferred to another person or organisation, or who has some other objection to how their personal data is used can contact any member of staff who will refer your request to the Data Compliance Lead.

The College will endeavour to respond to any such written requests as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within statutory time-limits (which is one month in the case of requests for access to information, but actually fulfilling more complex requests may take 1-2 months longer).

The College will be better able to respond quickly to smaller, targeted requests for information made during term time. If the request for information is manifestly excessive or similar to previous requests, the College may refuse this request, ask you to reconsider, or require a proportionate fee (but only where Data Protection Law allows it).

You should be aware that the right of access is limited to your own personal data, and certain data is exempt from the right of access. This will include information which identifies other individuals (and parents need to be aware this may include their own children, in certain limited situations – please see further below), or information which is subject to legal privilege (for example legal advice given to or sought by the College, or documents prepared in connection with a legal action).

The College is also not required to disclose any pupil examination scripts (or other information consisting solely of pupil test answers), provide examination or other test marks ahead of any ordinary publication, nor share any confidential reference given by the College itself for the purposes of the education, training or employment of any individual.

You may have heard of the “right to be forgotten”. However, we will sometimes have compelling reasons to refuse specific requests to amend, delete or stop processing your (or your child’s) personal data: for example, a legal requirement, or where it falls within a legitimate interest identified in this Privacy Notice. All such requests will be considered on their own merits.

Pupils can make subject access requests for their own personal data, provided that, in the reasonable opinion of the College, they have sufficient maturity to understand the request they are making. A pupil of any age may ask a parent or other representative to make a subject access request on his/her behalf.

Indeed, while a person with parental responsibility will generally be entitled to make a subject access request on behalf of younger pupils, the law still considers the information in question to be the child’s: for older pupils, the parent making the request may need to evidence their child’s authority for the specific request.

Pupils aged 13 and above are generally assumed to have this level of maturity, although this will depend on both the child and the personal data requested, including any relevant circumstances at home. Slightly younger children may however be sufficiently mature to have a say in this decision, depending on the child and the circumstances.

It should be clearly understood that the rules on subject access are not the sole basis on which information requests are handled. Parents may not have a statutory right to information, but they and others will often have a legitimate interest or expectation in receiving certain information about pupils without their consent. The College may consider there are lawful grounds for sharing with or without reference to that pupil.

Parents will in general receive educational and pastoral updates about their children, in accordance with the Parent Contract. Where parents are separated, the College will in most cases aim to provide the same information to each person with parental responsibility, but may need to factor in all the circumstances including the express wishes of the child.

All information requests from, on behalf of, or concerning pupils – whether made under subject access or simply as an incidental request – will therefore be considered on a case by case basis.

Where the College is relying on consent as a means to process personal data, any person may withdraw this consent at any time (subject to similar age considerations as above). Examples where we do rely on consent are publications of images in marketing material and on the website.  A pupil’s name will never be shown in full. Please be aware however that the College may not be relying on consent but have another lawful reason to process the personal data in question even without your consent.

That reason will usually have been asserted under this Privacy Notice, or may otherwise exist under some form of contract or agreement with the individual (e.g. an employment or parent contract, or because a purchase of goods, services or membership of an organisation such as an alumni or parents’ association has been requested).

The rights under Data Protection Law belong to the individual to whom the data relates. However, the College will often rely on parental authority or notice for the necessary ways it processes personal data relating to pupils – for example, under the parent contract, or via a form. Parents and pupils should be aware that this is not necessarily the same as the College relying on strict consent (see section on Consent above).

Where consent is required, it may in some cases be necessary or appropriate – given the nature of the processing in question, and the pupil’s age and understanding – to seek the pupil’s consent. Parents should be aware that in such situations they may not be consulted, depending on the interests of the child, the parents’ rights at law or under their contract, and all the circumstances.

In general, the College will assume that pupils’ consent is not required for ordinary disclosure of their personal data to their parents, e.g. for the purposes of keeping parents informed about the pupil’s activities, progress and behaviour, and in the interests of the pupil’s welfare. That is unless, in the College’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise.

However, where a pupil seeks to raise concerns confidentially with a member of staff and expressly withholds their agreement to their personal data being disclosed to their parents, the College may be under an obligation to maintain confidentiality unless, in the College’s opinion, there is a good reason to do otherwise; for example where the College believes disclosure will be in the best interests of the pupil or other pupils, or if required by law.

Pupils are required to respect the personal data and privacy of others, and to comply with the College’s policies, most especially the E-safety Policy and the College rules. Staff are under professional duties to do the same covered under the relevant policies.



The College will endeavour to ensure that all personal data held in relation to an individual is as up to date and accurate as possible.  Individuals must please notify the school of any significant changes to important information, such as contact details, held about them.

An individual has the right to request that any out-of-date, irrelevant or inaccurate or information about them is erased or corrected (subject to certain exemptions and limitations under Data Protection Law): please see above for details of why the College may need to process your data, of who you may contact if you disagree.

The College will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to College buildings and systems. All staff and governors will be made aware of this policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and receive relevant training. Further details of these measures and procedures can be found in the GDPR Policy.


Thornton College maintains a database of alumni/ friends/ supporters/ parents/ professionals in order to stay in touch with our community and keep you updated about news, events, careers initiatives and fundraising activities.

Some of our database (but not all) choose to join our online community by registering on this website and creating an online profile. In both instances (individuals with offline database records and individuals with online profiles), we collect and store personal information (or “data”) about you. We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and this Policy sets out what information we collect about you, where and how we use (“process”) it.

We understand the importance of keeping your personal information secure and take appropriate steps to safeguard it.

Your data is stored on a dedicated, secure cloud server hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the EU and managed by our website provider, ToucanTech.  Industry standard firewalls, anti-virus, encryption and back-up methods are in place, as well as strict data handling protocols.

We always ensure only authorised persons have access to your information, which means only our approved employees and contractors, and that everyone who has access is appropriately trained in data management.

If you have an online profile for this website you are responsible for keeping your login details (email and password) confidential and we ask that you do not share your password with anyone.

No data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be completely secure. So, whilst we strive to safeguard your information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you provide online and you do this at your own risk.

Third parties who provide services for us, for example iSAMS, Toucan Tech, My School Portal. We select our third-party service providers with care. We provide these third parties with the information that is necessary to provide the service and we will have an agreement in place that requires them to operate with the same care over data protection as we do

Third parties if we run an event in conjunction with them. We will let you know how your data is used when you register for any event

Web hosting, email hosting, analytics and search engine providers that enable us to run our community database and improve our website and its use

Third parties in connection with restructuring or reorganisation of our operations, for example if we merge with another business. In such event, we will take steps to ensure your privacy rights will be protected by the third party

Other than this, we will not share your information with other organisations without your consent.

Please would you let us know if your contact details change. Online members can update your details directly by logging-in to the website and clicking on ‘My Settings’ under your profile.  You can also update your details by contacting us at

Where data can be aggregated and anonymised, our website provider (ToucanTech) might use this for research purposes without restriction. For example, they may monitor traffic patterns, site usage, response rates and data trends to help make improvement to the website software. They are entitled to do this because the resulting data will not personal identify you and will therefore no longer constitute personal data for the purposes of data protection laws.


The College will update this Privacy Notice from time to time. If we make any significant changes we will advertise this on the website or contact you directly with the information. Please check this page occasionally to make sure you are happy with any changes.



Any comments or queries on this policy should be directed to the Data Compliance Lead reporting to the Bursar

If an individual believes that the College has not complied with this policy or acted otherwise than in accordance with Data Protection Law, they should utilise the College complaints procedure and should also notify the Data Compliance Lead in the first instance. You can also make a referral to or lodge a complaint with our Bursar or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), although the ICO recommends that steps are taken to resolve the matter with the College before involving the regulator.

If you disagree with the school’s position, whilst we would hope you would communicate with us directly, you do have the right to contact the Information Commissioners Office on:

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Textphone: 01625 545860

Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm


Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane






Reviewed and Revised June 2022