New ICO Campaign Promotes Sharing Data to Safeguard Children Across Sussex

The Information Commissioner’s Office is launching a new campaign in Sussex to raise awareness about responsible data sharing in a bid to protect children across the region from harm.

Working with education organisations, the data protection regulator’s myth-busting ‘Think.Check.Share.’ campaign demonstrates how data protection law can help organisations to share personal information when required to safeguard children and young people.

National Day Nurseries Association, Early Years Alliance and the Confederation of School Trusts are among the first organisations to partner with the ICO to distribute the ‘Think.Check.Share.’ resources to schools and nurseries across Sussex. Now the ICO is calling on other education organisations across region to sign up and ensure the information reaches frontline staff working closely with children every day.

The ICO has created a toolkit of free resources to promote responsible data sharing, including posters, videos, infographics and content for social media. When partnering with the ICO, organisations can either add their logo to existing materials or create new co-branded materials if required.

The campaign follows a 10-step practical guide published in September, which outlines how organisations can safely and lawfully share information to safeguard children from physical, emotional or mental harm.

John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said: “Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. We understand that frontline workers in the education sector are sometimes nervous about sharing personal data and the potential consequences this may have. However, if there are concerns that a child is at risk, organisations and their staff need to know they can share personal data to protect that child without falling foul of data protection law.

“Through our work with local organisations, we want to help improve child safeguarding by ensuring those working with children are empowered to share data in an appropriate, safe and lawful way.”

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association, said: “It’s vital that those working with children prioritise their welfare above all else including their data obligations. Children’s data should be shared responsibly to keep children as safe as possible, so we are happy to share this campaign with the early years sector across the UK.

“Through our safeguarding training, we ensure that all those who work with young children are aware of their obligations to raise the alarm if they think a child may be in danger and what signs they should be alert to.”

The ICO is inviting education organisations from Sussex to get involved and help to distribute these vital messages to their staff.

Organisations can contact datasharingcode@ico.org.uk to explore opportunities to co-brand materials and support the campaign.

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