Privacy statement

This privacy policy relates to the information we store about you as a Help Portal user.

We hold information about you on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) lawful basis of 'public task' so that we can run the Help Portal as a service to you.

We do not knowingly hold personal information on children under the age of 16. The Help Portal is not for use by children under this age.

Your information

When you use the Help Portal we collect:

  • your personal details including name, email address and sometimes the name of your organisation
  • Your password when you sign up to use the Help Portal as a logged in user
  • your Internet Protocol (IP address), and details of which version of web browser you use
  • information on how you use our site, based on cookies

How we use your data

We use your personal information:

  • to make sure your account works properly
  • in a customer relationship management tool to help us manage our obligations to you

Who we share your personal information with

We may share your information where the law allows it to enable the running of The Help Portal, or where we have a legal obligation to do so.

What is the legal basis for collecting and processing the data

In order for the use of personal data to be lawful, we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation, as set out in Article 6(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For the purpose of ESFA Communities, the relevant condition that we are meeting is that you have given your consent under Article 6 (1)(a) of the GDPR.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have certain rights depending on our reason for processing your personal information.

  • Your right of access: You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. Read more here.
  • 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)

If you need to contact us regarding any of the above, please do so via

More information about how the DfE handles personal information is published here:

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

How we protect your data

We comply with the GDPR to protect your personal information.

We will:

  • tell you why we need the information
  • only ask for what we need
  • make sure no one has access to it who should not
  • only keep the information for as long as we need it
  • not make it available for commercial use

Our staff are trained in handling information and understand how important it is to protect personal and other sensitive information.

When you close your account, we’ll:

  • delete your personal information
  • keep audit records of your user account activity for up to 6 years

Withdrawal of consent

Where we are processing your personal data with your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent. If you change your mind, or you are unhappy with our use of your personal data, please let us know by contacting

Asking to see your information

If you want to see the personal information we hold about you:

There is no charge for this.

Sometimes we can withhold information, for example to protect national security.

Third party integration

We use third party software to help us improve your experience on the Help Portal, Google Analytics.

We may collect your:

  • device's IP address
  • device screen resolution
  • device type (unique device identifiers), operating system, and browser type
  • geographic location (city and country only)
  • preferred page display language
  • referring domain
  • pages visited
  • preferred language used to display the webpage
  • date and time when website pages were accessed
  • mouse events (movements, location and clicks)
  • key presses

We will store this information in a way that it cannot be used to identify you.

How to complain

Raise a concern using our Help Portal or by emailing

If you wish to contact the DfE’s data protection officer, please use the secure Help Portal or write to the address above.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint about data protection with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). For more information, visit the ICO website.