Parental involvement and engagement census - privacy notice

Read the privacy notice for the parental involvement and engagement census.

East Renfrewshire Council and educational establishments under its control undertake regular periodic surveys of parents and carers. Such surveys support school and local authority improvement planning and provide an opportunity for parents to share their thoughts on current and future involvement and engagement with schools.

Similar practice is undertaken by all local authorities in Scotland and educational establishments under their control. In order to rationalise this approach to surveying parents/carers and in order to allow comparable consistent data to be collected nationally, which will assist in evaluating the impact of interventions and support policy development, every parent/carer of a school pupil in Scotland is being invited to take part in the national Parental Involvement and Engagement Census pilot.

Local authorities in Scotland, with support from Scottish Government, are asking parents/carers to undertake the survey, which should take no longer than ten minutes to complete.

This notice will inform you as to the data that will be collected, how we look after your personal data and how you can find out more about your privacy rights should you wish to participate in the survey.

We will always handle your personal data with respect, hold it securely and only ask for data/information that is necessary.

Data protection legislation sets out the lawful basis for processing personal data. The purpose of processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller. The Council has a statutory duty under the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 and the National Improvement Framework. Where we are collecting Special Category Data which is sensitive personal data, the data protection legislation stipulates that there must be an additional basis for collecting this type of information. The survey asks for information of your ethnic origin. The basis for collecting this information is that it is necessary for statistical purposes.

You will be asked for responses to a set of questions about your child's school and your engagement with the school. You are not obliged to answer any of the questions that you do not wish to complete.

You'll be asked for the following information:

  • postcode
  • gender
  • age group
  • ethnic group
  • school that your child attends
  • your views on your child's school and learning

The data gathered will be used for statistical and research purposes and will provide East Renfrewshire Council and its schools with information to help:
  • plan, monitor and deliver better policies for the benefit of all 
  • identify and share best practice
  • better understand some of the factors which influence parental involvement and engagement with our schools
  • further enhance positive relationships with parents to secure positive outcomes for our children
  • East Renfrewshire Council will download the completed census information from a provider of digital survey solutions called SmartSurvey.

    The Scottish Government has purchased and offered SmartSurvey licenses to each local authority to support participation in this survey. Once the survey is complete the data will be securely downloaded from SmartSurvey by East Renfrewshire Council, who is the Controller of this information in terms of data protection legislation.

    The information will be securely shared with the Scottish Government for statistical and research purposes and at that point the Scottish Government will become a Controller in its own right for this information. The Scottish Government may then share this data with internal and external partners for statistical and research purposes and only in circumstances where the sharing is lawful and ethical.

    You can view further information from the Scottish Government on the Parental Involvement and Engagement Census and how they will use your data by accessing the following link published on their website.

    Information about you will be kept for the minimum period necessary and then it will be deleted/destroyed in accordance with the Council's retention schedule.

    Full details of how long we keep personal data can be found in our retention schedule [2.72MB].

    Depending on why we need to process your information you'll have rights to how your information is used. More information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, can be found within our main privacy policy.

    If you've concerns about the processing of your personal data by us, you can contact our Data Protection Officer at

    For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing, visit the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website (opens new window)

    Please contact us if you need this information in an alternative format.

    This notice will be kept under regular review and was last updated on the 18 January 2022.

    Last modified on 4 October 2022