Keeping Your School Communication GDPR Compliant with the Use of a School App

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Like other businesses and organisations, schools need to protect their data and have secure administrative processes in place. This includes software that ensures the details of parents and other parties are fully protected while still offering value for money. 

Many schools and colleges nowadays depend on technology to improve communication and provide parents, pupils and teachers access to the information and resources they need. 

One innovation in the last decade has been the development of dedicated apps that are beginning to take over from the more traditional school website.

These downloadable apps allow parents to engage with their local school in a variety of ways and have greatly improved communication. There are challenges, however, when it comes to the recently implemented GDPR and remaining compliant.

What is GDPR Compliance?

The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR came into effect in 2018 and was an EU initiative to protect all the personal information collected by businesses and organisations. 

Simply put, it means that if you are storing personal data such as email addresses, passwords and financial details, you have a duty of care to protect that information and make sure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Failure to do so, even if you are a school, could mean that you are sanctioned and receive a substantial fine. 

Of course, we came out of the EU at the beginning of this year. There are no plans, however, to come out of the GDPR and, even if we do, a similar system will be put in place at some point. 

The Benefits of a School App

Every so often in the news, we see stories of companies that have been the victim of hacking attacks and have lost large amounts of data. The GDPR means that each organisation needs to have mitigation processes in place and be able to handle attacks effectively. 

That could mean, for example, employing a GDPR compliance officer on-site or having a strategy in place for reducing the potential for cybersecurity breaches. 

The good news is that technology such as school apps have this inbuilt into their processes. Developers regularly update security and ensure that systems are monitored which means that everything can be tracked. Apps can also be operated with the bare minimum of information such as a username and password and that can further help protect parents and other users. 

One of the key developments in school apps over the last few years is the number of different tasks they can handle. That means schools don’t have data spread over different applications and systems which can put personal information at greater risk. 

Apps can deal with sickness and absence, messaging parents and even take payments as well as disseminate important documentation. Software as a Service or SaaS can be operated safely on the cloud and accessed remotely from any device with a login. It benefits from having that core security net enveloping it rather than being controlled through a local server where that security might not be so high.

Choose the right partner and this should provide the school with overarching security and encryption that is fit for purpose and lends and an additional layer of protection to administrative processes.