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Free School Meals Privacy Notice

How we use your personal information for the provision of Free School Meals (FSM) purposes

The Council provides services for local communities and the people who live in them.  Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to and keep a record of those services. Because we collect and use personal information about individuals we must make sure that they know what we intend to do with their information and who it may be shared with. 

We have summarised in this privacy notice some of the key ways in which we use your personal information for Free School Meal (FSM) purposes. This information should be read in conjunction with the Council’s corporate privacy notice

1.   Who we are, what we do.

As a Council, we administer the Free School Meals (FSM) scheme on behalf of Welsh Government. We hold certain information about you, which we use to administer the FSM scheme. This includes the need to process your information to contact you, to enable your child to receive their FSM in their educational establishment.  Your FSM eligibility may also be used to assess your entitlement to receive other benefits, such as the school uniform grant. Further information about how we use your personal data is provided below.

2.   What and whose personal information we hold?

We hold information about past and present residents who have made applications for FSM to the Council.

The types of information we hold and process will typically include:

  • Contact details, including name, address, telephone numbers and email address of the applicants and the relevant children
  • Household and income details.  
  • Employer and salary details  
  • National Insurance Number and Date of Birth  
  • Your children’s educational details e.g. the school they attend  
  • Outcome of entitlement to FSM – period covered etc.

3.   Where does the service get my information from?

The personal information we collect about you can come from a variety of different sources as listed below: 

  • Information provided directly by you for example on an application form or through correspondence with us.
  • Information provided to us by other government agencies that we work closely with. For example the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Welsh Government and Her Majesties Revenues & Customs (HMRC) to assist in the administration of the FSM application
  • Information from other Council Services such as Education & Schools – to ensure the FSM service has the relevant information to administer the scheme and children get their meal
  • Information generated by us during our dealings with you and when we calculate your entitlement of FSM. 

4.   What we will do with your personal information?

We will use this personal information to administer the FSM scheme. This may include any of the following:

  • Assess your entitlement to FSM
  • Notify the school of your child’s entitlement to FSM 
  • Deal with complaints or concerns.
  • Identify and detect fraud.   

If you are entitled to FSM, we may also assess whether you are entitled to receive additional benefits, for example, school uniform grant.

5.   What is the legal basis for the use of this information?

Data Protection law says that we are allowed to use and share personal information only where we have a proper and lawful reason for doing so.

Our lawful basis for processing this information for the above purposes is

  • To undertake our official statutory duties and to satisfy our legal obligations under the following legislation:
  • The Education Act 1996
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014

6.   Does the service share my personal information with any other organisation?

From time to time, we will share your personal information with advisers and service providers so that they can help us carry out our duties, rights and discretions in relation to FSM. These may include:

Internal Council Services such as:

  • Education and Schools
  • Education Finance Service - The names of pupils receiving FSM are shared to allow Education Finance to issue their free School Clothing Grant Vouchers.

Government agencies and organisations such as:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions – for the purposes of  administering FSM
  • The Cabinet Office – for the purposes of the National Fraud Initiative. View further information on the Council's fraud Initiative
  • Welsh Government and Her Majesties Revenue & Customs – for statistical and funding purposes
  • Schools – to ensure the service is delivered 

Trusted third party suppliers and organisations who provide services on our behalf:

  • Printing companies – (currently   MPS Ltd) to print, pack and post council tax documents.
  • Software provider – (currently Capita Software Services Ltd) to maintain our council tax systems.

7.   How long will my information be kept?

We will keep your personal information for 7 years for administration purposes and to deal with any questions or complaints that we may receive about this, unless the law requires us to keep it for a longer period.

 8.  Your information, your rights

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you important rights, including the right to access the personal information the services hold about you.

View further details on your information rights and how to exercise them

9.  Contact us

If you have any concerns or would like to know more about how the service using your   personal information please contact us in one of the following ways:

By email :

By telephone : 01443 425002

In writing : Financial Services Division, Ty Bronwydd, Porth, CF39 9DL