Accessibility statement

Privacy notice - Access and Outreach widening participation activities

This privacy notice is for pupils in Primary and Secondary Schools and Sixth Forms and their parents/guardians. It sets out the ways in which the University of York’s Access and Outreach team gathers, uses, stores and shares data. It also sets out how long we keep data and what rights you have in relation to your data under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. 

For the purposes of this privacy notice, the University of York is the Data Controller as defined in the UK GDPR. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and our entry can be found here. Our registration number is: Z4855807.   

Where do we get data from?

We collect information about you/your child/ward when applying to participate in, or registering your interest in, one of our programmes or events. This information is collected directly from application forms submitted via our web applications and management portal and is handled by the Access and Outreach Team at the University of York. We may also collect information when you complete questionnaires, evaluation forms, reflection logs or research projects specifically related to your participation in one of our programmes or events. We may also receive your personal information from partner institutions where a data sharing agreement is in place.

At key points we receive information from your school/college to provide us with information about you (e.g. family background and/or childhood experiences) to help us better understand and support you throughout your participation in our events and programmes. We also collect information from yourself or your school/college regarding your circumstances and eligible criteria for participation such as; your attainment at school/college, whether you have/are receiving free school meals, if you require any access support and information relating to safeguarding concerns.

Information collected from forms submitted as part of a travel expenses reimbursement claim. 

We may also receive personal information for staff members at schools/colleges via third parties such as; UniTasterDay for the purpose of registering for an event.

What data do we have?

Personal data such as name, date of birth, home address, email address, telephone number, details of your qualifications, emergency contact details, bank details (as part of a travel expense reimbursement claim) and parent/guardian education background.

Special category data such as information about disability, health, ethnicity and racial origin.

What is our legal basis for processing data?

Typically, data will be processed: 

  • on the grounds of contractual requirement or to take steps to enter into a contract e.g. to deliver our widening participation programme
  • because it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest (i.e. to advance learning and knowledge by teaching and research, and to enable people to obtain the advantages of university education)
  • because you have given your consent or, in the case of special category data, your explicit consent
  • because we have a legitimate interest to do so e.g. to better understand the effectiveness of our widening participation programmes and events
  • to allow us to comply with our legal obligations
  • to protect your or another person’s vital interests
  • to monitor equality and diversity.

How do we use data?

We will use personal data (and special category data) for the following purposes:

  • to assess eligibility to participate in a programme or event, assist shortlisting and selection for programmes and events. For further information see Working with schools and colleges;
  • to deliver and facilitate involvement in the programme or event;
  • to contact you in relation to the programme by email, phone, text message and post;
  • to enable effective communication with you regarding additional opportunities to attend University events (for example Open Days) and other Access and Outreach initiatives (for example extensions of projects, progression to other programmes and invitations to useful events);
  • to better understand the effectiveness of our widening participation activities and improve offerings accordingly;
  • track academic attainment and future employment choices;
  • for health, safety and wellbeing during the course of the programme or event;
  • to provide disability support or special access arrangements;
  • to record attendance at, and engagement in, all events associated with the programme ;
  • for research, monitoring and evaluation purposes;
  • to monitor equal opportunities;
  • to reimburse you with travel costs; 
  • to compile statistical returns which the University may be required to publish or pass to government bodies or the Higher Educational Statistical Agency (HESA).

Who do we share your data with?

The information provided will be used by the University of York for the purposes outlined above.  It will also be shared with the following third parties:

  • Your/your child/ward’s school/college for assessment of eligibility and to verify application information;
  • University of York finance department (for the purpose of reimbursing you with travels costs);
  • The Office for Students (OfS);
  • The Department for Education (DfE);
  • The University and College Admissions Service (UCAS);
  • The Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT).  Please visit Heat for more information about how data is stored.  We will continue to retain any data we share with HEAT, in line with the University’s Records Retention Schedule;
  • Third parties that process data on behalf of the University to support it in fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities to and relationships with you (e.g. software and system providers) including: DX Net Solutions (application portal), UKFast (servers for application portal), Qualtrics, Formstack, Microsoft Dynamics 365, ClickDimensions, Clickatell, DotDigital, Pubble, Brightside, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, Kahoot, The Access Platform, Amazon Web Services (for the purpose of sending a text message), Agito (for the purpose of booking travel to any of our events). 

There may be occasions where we need to share and return information with the local authority, police and schools/colleges, if a safeguarding matter arises. This will be actioned in line with our Safeguarding policy


How do we keep data secure?

The University takes information security extremely seriously and has implemented appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data and special category data. Access to information is restricted on a need-to-know basis and security arrangements are regularly reviewed to ensure their continued suitability. For further information please see our IT Security webpages.

How do we transfer data safely internationally?

In certain circumstances, it is necessary to transfer Personal Data (including Special Category Data) outside the UK. In respect of such transfers, the University will comply with our obligations under Data Protection Law and ensure an adequate level of protection for all transferred data.  

How long will we keep data?

The University will retain data in line with legal requirements or where there is a business need. Retention timeframes will be determined in line with the University’s Records Retention Schedule.

What rights do you have in relation to data?

Under the UK GDPR, you have a right of access to your data, a right to rectification, erasure (in certain circumstances), restriction, objection or portability (in certain circumstances). You also have a right to withdraw consent. You can verify or correct information at any time by emailing For all other requests, see the University's subject rights webpage

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or concerns about how data is being processed, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at

Right to complain

If you are unhappy with the way in which the University has handled personal data, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. For information on reporting a concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office, see their complaints guidance

Changes to our privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This notice was last updated on 25th October 2022.