Protecting student data is a responsibility. STEER takes this very seriously and operates as a fully compliant business under the GDPR framework. We are also Cyber Essentials-certified. Here are the FAQs that a parent may ask about how and why we hold the data that we do.
Can STEER identify pupils from the data it holds?
The STEER standard data sharing agreement means that schools will only pass pseudonymised pupil data to STEER using a name coding technique approved by the data regulator, the ICO. Unless a school DPO provides an alternative data sharing arrangement for pupil name data being disclosed, STEER will not agree to hold data which will allow the identification of pupil full names by anyone other than school staff (who will be able to ‘decode’ the pseudonym information). Parents may continue to opt-out their children from STEER Tracking.
How can I be sure my child’s data is safe?
Before schools use STEER Tracking they perform rigorous checks to ensure STEER complies with the highest standards of data security. STEER is accredited under the UK government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. The data we hold on pupils is hosted & protected on dedicated servers and undergoes regular penetration testing by external providers.
Can I be sure my child’s data will be used ethically?
The STEER Tracking Code of Conduct for the Ethical Use of STEER Tracking clearly states: ∙ STEER Tracking data is passed to a pupil at the age of 18. It is not shared with an employer or university unless the individual chooses to do so.
STEER Tracking must not be used as a selection tool. STEER tracking data will not be shared with any other institution beyond the school who have entered into a service agreement, without consent
Where is the data held?
STEER data is hosted & protected on secure, dedicated Google Cloud platform servers in the UK and EU
What data is actually being collected on my child?
STEER Tracking is assessing how a pupil self-regulates for factors: self-disclosure, trust of self, trust of others and seeking change. STEER Tracking does NOT obtain data on a pupil’s direct welfare concerns or risks; for example they are not asked whether they are anxious, depressed, happy at school or home, considering self-harming, being bullied.
Can a school ensure that the STEER will comply with Data Subject Access Requests?
STEER has a clear Data Protection Policy and guidelines in place to ensure SARs will be responded to in a timely manner. All DSARs should be made to the school DH Pastoral.
Does STEER comply with “the right to be forgotten” and allow parents to have their child’s data removed if requested?
The school, as the data controller, has full control of all the platform data, including deletions. STEER, as data processor, has confirmed they will assist with data deletion where requested. This results in all personal data being removed from the platform including assessment data.
Ordinarily, when a pupil leaves a school and the STEER Tracking account is inactive, the pupil personal data is removed, including school profile information and only the raw assessment scores retained for research and statistical purposes.
Might STEER sell my child’s data at a later point?
STEER enters an explicit agreement with the school stating its use of all data it collects. This includes the prohibition of any future sale or disclosure of the data to any third party.
How does a school use STEER’s data?
Firstly, schools look at the data for a particular pupil cohort. They identify trends emerging amongst year groups or within particular pupil cohorts. They then use this data to give specific messages or opportunities to particular groups or cohorts. Schools call this ‘signposting the school road’.
Secondly, schools identify any pupils who are showing unhealthy or limiting biases. They draw on the other pieces of the pastoral jigsaw to explore why a pupil might be thinking in this way. They then identify small, subtle, strategic, low level IN SCHOOL signposts that can help the pupil develop more rounded patterns of thinking. E.g. if a pupil had an iterated polar high trust of others bias, their tutor may encourage the pupil to be more discerning about what they read on the internet, rather than downloading and copying and pasting into their essay.
Is STEER’s data going to label my child?
Schools use pupils’ data to guide their conversations with pupils and inform their everyday pastoral decisions. The action planning process guides schools in putting in place small, strategic, subtle signposts to help specific pupils make wiser choices. Those signposts may be intentional opportunities they give pupils, purposeful conversations they have with them, or modelling difficult ways of approaching situations.
These signposts are low level and in-school responses. The data is guiding teachers’ interaction with your child, not leading to therapeutic or behavioural interventions. Our data suggests that seemingly insignificant actions, have a significant impact when they are strategically directed. We believe that skilled teachers who know your children and their families well are well placed to identify which signpost to give each pupil.
Can pupils opt out of the STEER assessment?
Yes they can choose to opt out. Parents can also request their child does not complete the STEER assessment.
Can parents see the STEER assessment?
If a parent requires reassurance about the nature of the STEER assessment questions they can request a demonstration of the assessment process from the school.
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