NFER Privacy Notice

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is committed to safeguarding the privacy of all research participants, customers and others whose data we process in the course of our work.

NFER is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 for the activities it undertakes. We also work to a strict Code of Practice (found here on /nfer/about-nfer/code-of-practice/en/code-of-practice_home.cfm), and suite of Data and Information Security Compliance Policies, which all staff are required to adhere to as part of our terms and conditions of employment.

This Privacy Policy statement explains the data processing practices of NFER.

The information below provides an over-arching fair processing notice for how we collect, manage and process data provided research participants, customers and other users of NFER services.

Information we process

We collect personally identifiable information for the following purposes:

  • NFER’s research, assessment and evaluation projects
    • Data collected on questionnaires
    • Data about teachers or pupils or other respondents
    • Survey responses via online or paper surveys
    • Interviews and case studies
    • Third party data from other sources (such as National Pupil Database data)
    • Data on teachers who have agreed to be part of special panels or other groups
  • NFER’s range of products and services for schools
    • Customer contact information and order details to fulfil products and services
    • Data on individuals who have consented to be sent marketing materials
    • Data on individuals as part of their participation in a product or service
  • NFER’s business operations
    • Job application data
    • Client contact information

How we keep school data up to date

  • NFER holds a database of all schools in the United Kingdom, we use this database to
    • select groups of schools to invite to take part in research or test development exercises
    • inform schools about the range of services products and resources that NFER offers which may be useful to schools.
    • share the outcomes and results of research that the NFER has carried out
  • We keep the database up to date through the use of national datasets and through the ongoing communication we have with schools. It will also be updated:
    • through the use of enquiry and registration forms on NFER-managed websites
    • when schools purchase any of our products or services through our online booking system.
    • When schools voluntarily provide of details to us either online or offline, for example attending an event.
  • We endeavour to update data on schools within a week of notification of a change; if you notice that our data is out of date at any point, please let us know by emailing

NFER’s approach to data privacy

  1. We comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act, which includes collecting personal data fairly and lawfully.
  2. Whenever we ask for data we will explain what it will be used for.
  3. We will only ask for data that we really need for the relevant purposes.
  4. Wherever possible we will deal with anonymised data, but in some cases we need to collect named data and this data may be passed on to a specific sponsor organisation, such as the Department for Education. Where this is the case, we will make this before collecting the data.
  5. We will hold all personal information in secure systems. We will only use secure means to transfer personal data.
  6. We will keep data for as long as it is needed (usually until the specific project is complete), and then we will remove the data and ensure it is securely disposed of.
  7. We will always give the option to individuals to withdraw from futher contact in relation to marketing materials for NFER’s products and services

NFER staff and the data protection and security

  • NFER visits schools and other settings to undertake research or test development projects. All staff working with children, young people or vulnerable adults will have a current Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS).
  • DBS checks are updated every three years.
  • Any visitors from NFER will have previously contacted you personally before visiting and will have an ID badge.

You have the right to request a copy of the personal information that NFER holds about you and to ask us to update anything that is out of date or inaccurate. If you want to make a request for access to data, please contact us on We will charge £10 for information requests.

If you have any requests concerning your personal information or any queries with regard to these practices please contact

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