Kent schools from Dover to Greenwich and all points in between raced to take advantage of Accordio's outsourced Data Protection Officer Service in the weeks before the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May.
Guston Primary near Dover and St Paul's Academy, Greenwich, were just two of the schools that requested help as the deadline loomed, while parish councils and charities also asked for help in meeting the new requirements .
The new rules mean every school needs to appoint a Data Protection Officer - and the business manager can't do the job because it would create a conflict of interest. The head teacher, meanwhile, has more than enough to worry about already.
The alternative, and one that schools are increasingly opting for, is to take advantage of Accordio's outsourcing model that allows schools to stay with the rules for a fraction of the cost and none of the hassle associated with giving the job to an existing member of staff or appointing a new postholder.
The Kent-based consultancy headed up by the highly experienced Rob Neil will carry out a full data audit to make sure the right systems are in place and will then take on the entire DPO responsibility, advising the leadership team of any issues on a regular basis for a low annual fee.
As well as signing up schools across Kent and beyond, Accordio has been approached by a number of parish councils and is also providing its DPO Service to a charity. Dover Counselling Centre has a particular need to make sure its data is properly protected as it works closely with the NHS, making data security a primary consideration.