National Schools' Observatory privacy notice

Information you need to know

The National Schools’ Observatory (NSO) is part of Liverpool John Moores University. See further information on the institution.

Liverpool John Moores University is the Data Controller.

Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted at

LJMU takes your privacy very seriously. This privacy notice explains how we use your personal information and your rights regarding that information. We will always use your data as set out in the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and all current Data Protection Legislation. We are committed to being transparent about how we collect and use your data and to meeting our data protection obligations.

For information about how the wider University uses personal data please see the Privacy Notice section of our website.

What information are we collecting?

Users of the website who are not registered do not have any personal information collected about them, although analytical information about your website visit might be gathered (see the information on Cookies below).

If you register as an NSO User we will collect the following information from you:

  • A username of your choice
  • Your email address
  • Your country
  • Whether you are a student, teacher, or not in education
  • How you heard about the NSO

We may also collect information about your gender and age. This information is optional and collected anonymously.

If you register as a Teacher we will collect the following information from you:

  • A username of your choice
  • Your email address
  • The address of your school (or other address associated with your teaching)
  • Your country
  • Some information about what you teach and the level of schooling (primary, secondary, FE etc)
  • How you heard about the NSO

We may also collect information about your gender. This information is optional and collected anonymously.

If you are signing up to receive the NSO newsletter, we will use the following personal data to distribute this to you:

  • Your name
  • A username of your choice
  • Your email address

As well as your registration details, the NSO website collects personal information when you login to make observations, or complete activities such as a student quiz. As with any other information about you that we have, this information is stored solely for the purpose of taking part in the NSO and is not passed on to other organisations or used for other purposes.

Why are we collecting your data and what is the legal basis for this?

LJMU will collect personal data from you for several reasons, and will at all times do so in compliance with the principles of the GDPR, and for one of the legal basis set out in Article 6 of the Regulation.

Data provided to NSO by users and teachers are used because we have a public task to undertake in support of the LJMU’s role to provide education services.

If you provide consent to receive the NSO newsletter, LJMU will rely on that consent under the provisions of Article 6 (a) of the GDPR. Your consent is given to LJMU freely, and can be removed at any time.

Who has access to this data?

Your personal data will be used only by relevant NSO and LJMU staff where the data is necessary for them to undertake their designated role.

How does the University protect your data?

The NSO and University takes Data Protection very seriously and at all times your personal data will be handled in line with the University’s Information Security Policy.

All data will be stored within the NSO website secure server or within the department shared drives which are only accessible by the NSO team. To help to ensure a reliable service should there be technical issues, the data may also be stored on secure backup systems.

For how long does the University keep your data?

Personal information for registered users is kept while the user account is active. When accounts are cancelled by a user or expire, the information may be kept for a short period of up to one month to help to restore the account if it was cancelled accidentally. After this period the data is deleted.

Your rights

As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request, this could be in a portable electronic format;
  • require the University to change incorrect or incomplete data if you think that it is inaccurate or out of date
  • require the University to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary or legally required for the purposes of processing

Where you have provided us with consent to use your personal data, you can remove that consent at any time. If you have signed up for the NSO newsletter, you can use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each newsletter, or you can contact us at the address below.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer

What if you do not provide data?

NSO will not be able to provide services to users and teachers who do not provide contact details. However, You do not need to provide optional data collected to monitor our service use if you do not wish to, and can use our service as normal.

Transfers of data outside the UK

Generally, we do not send your personal data outside the UK. However, in some specific cases we may transfer the personal data we collect to countries outside the UK in order to perform our contract with you/or a contract with another organisation that requires your personal data i.e. a collaboration agreement with a university based outside of the UK. Where we do this, we will ensure that your personal information is protected by way of an ‘adequacy regulation’ with the UK or by putting alternative appropriate measures in place to ensure that your personal information is treated by those third parties in a way that is consistent with and which respects the UK laws on data protection. For example model contractual clauses, data sharing/data processing agreement and binding corporate rules (where applicable).

Automated decision making

We will not make any decisions about you automatically using a computer, based on your personal data (e.g. profiling).

How to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office?

You have the right to complain to The Information Commissioner if you believe that our processing of your personal data does not meet our data protection obligations. The Information Commissioner can be contacted:

Post: Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK95AF.
Telephone: 0303 123 1113.
Email: contact can be made by accessing

Use of cookies by the NSO

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. Any cookies that may be used by this website are used either solely on a per session basis or to maintain user preferences.

Controlling Cookies

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit all about cookies please be aware though, if you disable all cookies from working on this site, it may not work as expected (i.e. staying logged in, storing quiz results, etc)

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit Google Analytics opt-out browser.

The information below explains the cookies we use and why.

Example Cookie name: Has_js

This cookie is used by our website to determine if your computer has JavaScript available so you can use some of the features of this website. This is an essential cookie to the operation of the site that is always set and does not store any personal information.

Example Cookie name: 2efba8b2a4f774209

This is a simple cookie used by our website to identify your unique session on the website. Typically used to maintain the integrity of your session while transacting information with a website (accessing secure areas, forms submissions etc). This is an essential cookie to the operation of the site, by agreeing to use the logged in sections of the website you have already agreed to allow us to store this cookie.

Example Cookie name: __utma __utmb __utmc __utmz

Google Analytics: We use Google Analytics to monitor traffic levels, search queries and visits to this website. Google Analytics stores IP address anonymously on its servers in the US, and neither CIVIC or Google associate your IP address with any personally identifiable information. These cookies enable Google to determine whether you are a return visitor to the site, and to track the pages that you visit during your session.

If you have any questions or concerns about privacy and the NSO, please get in touch.