Your data: free school meals

How we use your information

Aberdeen City Council collects and maintains information about you and your child for the purposes of assessing your application for free school meals and for providing any resulting school meals.

During the period that the schools are closed due to Covid-19 we will also use your email or mobile phone number to email or text you a supermarket voucher for a local supermarket in place of the provision of a meal at school. 

The information you provide will also be used to update your contact details across the organisation. 

If you are happy with us doing so, we can use information you may have already given us about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, to assess and award (if applicable) free school meals.

Your data will be stored on our customer platform, which holds your application, and our schools information management system, where a record is kept of your child’s Free School Meal entitlement. This data is stored within the EU.

Where we send vouchers by text message, this will be done using the Groupcall text service. This data is also stored in the EU. We have contractual agreements in place with these third parties to ensure they manage your data properly.

How long we keep your information for

Once your application has been decided, your application and related information will be kept by us for the current financial year plus 6 years. Incomplete or unsuccessful applications will be kept for 6 months from the date of application. For more information about how we manage education records, please refer to our Education Records Privacy Notice. We will keep anonymised data beyond this period for the purposes of auditing service provision and quality assurance.

Your rights

You have rights to your data, including the right to ask for a copy of it. See more information about the rights you have, how they work in practice, and the contact details of our Data Protection Officer. You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the body responsible for making sure organisations like the Council handle your data lawfully.

Our legal basis

Aberdeen City Council is the Data Controller for the information you provide. Wherever the Council processes personal data, we need to make sure we have a legal basis for doing so in data protection law. The Council considers the provision of free school meals as part of its public task under Section 53 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, as amended by the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007 to take steps to make sure that anyone who is entitled to a free school lunch receives one. This means that we understand our legal basis for processing your data as Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation.

In administering this task, we are also likely to process special categories of personal data. The Council understands out legal basis for doing so as Article 9(2)(g) of the General Data Protection Regulation, because processing is necessary for the reasons of substantial public interest.


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