How GDPR affects teachers

Nov 16, 2018 by

As one of the biggest changes to data protection regulation in the last decade or longer, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union (EU) is a game-changer. It’s a transformative system: the kind that, for once, puts the power back in the hands of the person. If you were new to GDPR, though, you might not be fully aware of what it all means.

Many people think it will only impact on businesses within the EU, for example. That is not the case. If you even work with a single person who is from the EU, then you need to have GDPR regulations in place. It is also believed (incorrectly) that GDPR only impacts on marketing and businesses selling products. That is not the case.

Those within the education industry are arguably among the most directly impacted by the changes in GDPR. This is why, if you are a teacher, it is absolutely essential that you begin to make a transformative change to how you work within the school.

If you want to make sure that you never fall foul of GDPR mistakes, we recommend that you keep an eye on the following.

Software Compliance

As a teacher, one thing you might often do is bring in new software for a certain subject. With a degree of innovation allowed in modern teaching, you can give people in your class a helping hand with outside of the curriculum add-ons. However, while software is among your most powerful allies in making sure that your kids can learn, you need to get any new software changes ratified by your school’s Data Protection Officer.

If they don’t have a Data Protection Officer? We humbly suggest that you search for new opportunities. There is so much secure data that has to be protected in a school, and you must do all that you can to offer the protection needed of said data.

If you would like to make sure that any new software you introduce to the class is GDPR compliant, you should look to bring in the school Data Protection Officer. They can tell you whether or not you are making mistakes, or whether or not the technology that you wish to use is going to be appropriate for the use that you had intended.

Annoying? Yes, very. Important? It’s an essential part of GDPR for teachers.

Data Breaches

Another key part of being a teacher is making sure that you take seriously any data breaches that might take place. A data breach is exactly the kind of thing that GDPR is supposed to protect against, especially in schools where most of the details held will relate to the children who go to the school.

In your role as a teacher, it is your duty to turn to any member of staff and inform them of a data breach. We recommend that you work with your Data Protection Officer and inform them of any changes to data being made or any potential breaches that you have noticed.

This is going to play an essential role in data protection,and for that reason we recommend that you take a look at the various data breach problems that might take place in a school. You have to become more aware of these issue as they become a major blight in the education industry.The more that you can do to be prepared to handle a data breach, the better.

As part of GDPR regulation, handling such a breach of private data will become a common part of your day-to-day operations.

Communicating clearly

While most teachers are very vigilant when it comes to the act of data protection, you have to be even more secure than ever. For example,you will now need to make sure that you carry out the following changes to how you communicate as a teacher:

  • You now must use your work e-mail for any kind of work-related communication. Carrying out a work-based chat on your personal e-mails is not going to be suitable any longer. You will need to change this part of your interaction with other employees if you do this.
  • When replying to any e-mails that you receive, you must be vigilant and make sure that you are replying to who you think you are. Double check every single e-mail address that you reply to: mistakes are easily made, but under GDPR you will be punished much more heavily.
  • If you are sending any kind of documentation that might hold serious or sensitive information, it is recommend that you learn how to password protect the content within. You could ask the IT department at your school to show you how to do this.
  • Never open any kind of attachment from an unsolicited e-mail. Only open attachments which can be verified to have come from a trusted recipient, and only open attachments which the school IT department can confirm is safe.
  • Carry out vigilance on all of your technology that you use for work and in class. Make sure that you are very safe when transporting data, especially on physical devices. Keep all of your hardware up-to-date and never allow software and apps to become outdated.
  • Lastly, make sure that you avoid using USB flash drives to store important data. They can easily be lost,corrupted or broken into. Staff are often banned from using a flash drive, and it’s important that you self-exclude their usage to fit in with GDPR.

Making the right calls

As a professional, you need to be ready to be held accountable for your actions. If you want to start making the most of your opportunities within the teaching profession, then you can start making the right calls today.

Take a look at the opportunities open to you and avoid making any of the mistakes listed above. If you do that, you should be much more likely to achieve success within the teaching profession even with GDPR hanging above you.

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