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Privacy notice

This privacy notice has been updated on 25th of February 2022. The changes were updating the legal basis for processing the special category data and how the data will be archived.

This privacy notice explains how we will process information from everyone taking part in our evaluation of ASCENTS 121 Support for Science.

In line with UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we will explain:

  • The legal basis for data processing.
  • Who will have access to your personal data.
  • How your data will be used, stored, and deleted.
  • Who you can contact with any questions or to complain.

Who’s who?

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Wellcome have funded the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to carry out the independent evaluation of ASCENTS 121 Support for Science.

You can find out more about these organisations by following the links below:

What is the legal basis for processing my data?

NatCen is the data controller for this project. In order for the use of personal data to be lawful, we need to satisfy one or more conditions in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as set out in Article 6(1). For this project, the condition that we are meeting is “legitimate interest”. This is because the personal information is necessary to answer the study’s research questions. NatCen has considered and balanced any potential impact on participants’ rights and assessed that its activities will not cause participants any harm.

Special category data is personal data that needs more protection because it is sensitive. In order to lawfully process special category data, we need to identify both a lawful basis under Article 6 of the UK GDPR and a separate condition for processing under Article 9. The special category data we will be processing during this study is the ethnicity of the mentors involved. Our lawful basis for processing is consent as this information was freely given by the people concerned.

You can email NatCen with any questions about the evaluation and the processing of data at

Who will have access to my personal data?

NatCen are carrying out this evaluation and will have access to:

  • Mentor, school, pupil, and teacher information.
  • Interview and focus groups recordings, transcripts, and notes.
  • Observations notes.
  • Survey responses.
  • Data on compliance (attendance during the intervention).
  • Data on progression into teaching from the Initial Teacher Training Performance Profiles (ITTPP) and the School Workforce Census (SWC).
  • We had originally planned to access pre- and post-intervention attainment data obtained from the National Pupil Database, managed by the Department for Education; however, this part of the project was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The University of Lincoln and its partner universities (University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, UCL Institute of Education, and University of York) are delivering ASCENTS 121 Support for Science. They will have access to mentor, school, pupil, and teacher information.

McGowan Transcriptions is the transcription service we use to transcribe our interview and focus group data. They had access to recordings and transcriptions from all interviews and focus groups. McGowan Transcriptions is on our approved supplier list and compliant with all our information security policies.

How will the data be used?

The data collected will only be used for research purposes. NatCen, University of Lincoln, and collaborating universities will store and handle all data securely and confidentially in line with GDPR. Reports and publications arising from this research will not identify any individual participant or school.

We had originally planned to use exam results from the National Pupil Database to assess the impact of mentoring on pupil attainment; however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this part of the evaluation was stopped and the data were never requested.

Mentor data linked with the Initial Teacher Training Performance Profiles (ITTPP) and the School Workforce Census (SWC) will be used to assess the long-term influence of participation to ASCENTS on mentor progression into teaching.

The ITTPP includes information on age, gender, declared disability status, declared ethnicity, subject, degree class, and route onto Initial Teaching Training (ITT).

The SWC identifies all teachers working in state-funded schools in England. It provides information about the individual’s work status, type of school employed in, full or part-time status, contract, roles and responsibilities, subject taught, salary, sickness absence and qualifications. It also provides data on teachers who have left the profession.

The ITTPP and the SWC will be linked using Teacher Reference Numbers (TRN), a unique identifier used throughout a teacher’s career. Data collected from the ITTPP and the SWC will be linked with the survey data (mentor follow-up survey, pre-intervention survey and post-intervention survey) using first name, surname, and date of birth, along with length of course and course year at time of ASCENTS for all ASCENTS mentors.

Information and opinions gathered from observations, interviews, surveys and discussion groups with teachers, mentors and mentees was used to inform our process evaluation. This has now been published and is available from the EEF website.

NatCen, University of Lincoln and collaborating universities will delete all personal information about pupils and teachers who took part in the programme within six months of the publication of the Evaluation Report in April 2021.

Data on mentors’ experiences of the programme will be held until six months after the publication of follow-up mentor survey findings in 2025. The data will be shared with EEF and FFT (EEF’s data processors for the EEF data archive) to archive the data on the Secure Research Service (SRS) at the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Furthermore, at the end of the project, NatCen will share the final anonymised set of data that will later be archived with all five collaborating universities in order to facilitate additional analysis for the purpose of writing a co-authored academic publication. The data will be deleted within 3 months of the project ending and the deletion of the data from Universities will be done by the Principle Investigator and witnessed by the Co-Investigator. The Principle Investigator will email NatCen to confirm deletion.

Who can I contact with a query or a complaint?

If you have any questions about how your data will be used, please contact NatCen’s Data Protection Officer, Simon Holroyd, at

Under GDPR, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please visit the ICO website for more information. You can also contact them at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Your rights under GDPR

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Be informed about the collection and use of your personal data. We must provide this privacy notice to explain the purpose for processing your personal data, retention periods for your personal data, and who it will be shared with.
  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.  You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation that makes you want to object to processing on this ground.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling. We will not use your data for automated decision making or profiling in any way.

If you want to review, verify, correct, or request erasure of your personal information; object to the processing of your personal data; or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact the study team at

Right to withdraw permission

You have the right to withdraw your permission for processing at any time. To withdraw your permission, please contact the study team at

When any data you provide has been aggregated with other responses in analyses, we will be unable to remove your data from those analyses. However, the original data will be erased, and it will not be possible to identify you in these aggregated results.

Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your permission, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.