Privacy notice for the evaluation of counterintuitive concepts intervention (UnLocke)

  1. Why are we collecting this data?

    Personal data is being collected to enable the evaluation of the ‘Stop and Think’ and ‘SEE+’ element of ‘UnLocke’ using a randomised controlled trial.  The main aim of ‘Stop and Think’ programme is to improve learner’s ability to adapt to counterintuitive concepts via training the learner to inhibit their initial response and instead, give a more delayed and reflective answer to ultimately improve learners’ educational outcomes.  The trial aims to ascertain the impact of the intervention on pupil attainment in maths and science. 

  2. Who is this research project sponsored and funded by?

    The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Wellcome Trust commissioned Birkbeck College to develop and deliver UnLocke in collaboration with UCL Institute of Education.

    National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is undertaking the independent evaluation which is funded by EEF. NFER and Birkbeck College are the joint data controller for this evaluation.

  3. What is the legal basis for processing activities?

    The legal basis for processing personal data is covered by:

    GDPR Article 6 (1) (f) which states that ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party except where such interest are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of the personal data’. 

    Our legitimate interest for processing your personal data is to administer the randomised control trial. 

  4. How will personal data be obtained?

    Birkbeck College is responsible for recruiting schools for this trial. They will collect teacher and pupil personal data from the participating schools. They will share this data with NFER using NFER’s secure data exchange portal. 

    NFER will obtain background pupil data from the Department for Education’s (DfE) National Pupil Database (NPD) using DfE’s secure data exchange portal. 

    NFER will undertake case study visits in up to six schools where we will interview individual staff members involved in the project and observe Stop and Think and SEE+ sessions. 

    NFER will also administer an online teacher questionnaire via Questback.

    NFER and Birkbeck will assess the pupils at the end of the trial using the GL assessment tests and inhibitory function development tests administered in the schools.

  5. What personal data is being collected by this project and how it will be shared between the research partners?

    Personal data for the main trial will include data about teachers and pupils from the participating schools as described below:

    Teacher data: Birkbeck College will collect data (name, job title and contact details) about a nominated lead teacher and class teachers in Years 3 and 5 in each participating school so that NFER can liaise with the individual about the evaluation. NFER will administer an online teacher questionnaire where names and email addresses will be collected to monitor the response rate. Birkbeck or EEF will not see any data from the teacher questionnaire. No personal data from the case study visits will be collected.

    Birkbeck will collect personal data about pupils. This includes pupil names, date of births and UPNs. This will be shared with NFER in order for us to access pupil background data held by the DfE’s NPD. The NPD data that we will request covers pupil prior attainment at the end of Key Stage 1, pupil free school meal eligibility and gender.  Birkbeck will not see any data from the NPD. 

    NFER will administer GL Assessment tests. Each participating pupil will only take one test- either the Progress test in Maths (PTM) or the Progress tests in Science (PTS).  GL-Assessment, acting as a data processor, mark the tests.  NFER will share the test results with Birkbeck College.

    Birkbeck College’s Research Assistants will assess the pupils on their inhibitory function development. Once the test administration is complete, they will share the test results with NFER.

    NFER will match all of the above pupil data to pupil assessment data. The assessment data includes pupil results from the GL Assessment tests and pupil results from the inhibitory function development. Above datasets will enable NFER to undertake primary and secondary outcomes analyses in order to achieve the aims mentioned in section 1.

    NFER will share all of the above pupil data (pupil names, dates of birth, UPN matched to the NPD data described above and assessment results) with EEF’s data archive partner- Fischer Family Trust.  Anonymised data will also be stored in the UK Data Archive. 

  6. Is personal data being transferred outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)?

    No personal data is stored or transferred outside of the EEA.  

  7. How long will personal data be retained?

    NFER and Birkbeck College will delete any personal data after three years from completion of the project. (Note that retention of personal data is subject to agreement by the NPD team at DfE).

    NFER will send all the data to FFT archive within three months of the end of the project who will keep the data, and take responsibility for data protection compliance.

  8. Can I stop my personal data being used?

    NFER handles your personal data in accordance with the rights given to individuals under data protection legislation.  If at any time you wish us to withdraw your data or correct errors in it, please contact Tom Dickinson at 

    In certain circumstances, data subjects have the right to restrict or object processing, please contact our Compliance Officer at  They also have the right to see information held about them.  NFER will cooperate fully when a subject access request (SAR) is made.

  9. Who can I contact about this project?

    NFER and Birkbeck are responsible for the day-to-day management of this project.  Contact Tom Dickinson at or Professor Denis Mareschal at with any queries.

    In certain circumstances, data subjects have the right to restrict or to object to data processing, please contact NFER’s Compliance Officer at or Birkbeck College’s Data Protection Officer David McElroy at  They also have the right to see information held about them.  You can make a subject access request by contacting either organisation. 

    If you have a concern about the way this project processes personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance (see the details above). Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, the body responsible for enforcing data protection legislation in the UK, at