Privacy Notice

The Elephant Group: Privacy Notice

Collecting student data directly from students, or via schools, helps us assess and evaluate the value and impact of our Elephant Access programme and wider activities. This helps us to plan and deliver activities that are fit for purpose, to make sure that we are working with and targeting the right types of students and delivering the right activities to support individual students as they progress to a top university and to evaluate and report on the effectiveness and impact of our programme.

Privacy Notice for Elephant Access programme

At The Elephant Group we want to make sure we protect any information we collect about students. When schools or students give us information about individual students (also known as data), we have rules we have to follow about what we can do with it. We must explain how we use that data and tell students or schools if we want to pass it on to anyone else. This notice sets out how any personal data provided to us will be processed.

Who we are

The Elephant Group is a not-for-profit organisation led by a group of head teachers committed to increasing access to the top 3rd universities for the top 3rd students from non-selective state schools.  We also work with partners across UK universities and other third sector organisations in our work.

We are the ‘Data Controller’ of the information students provide directly to us, and a ‘Data Processor’ of information about students provided by wider partners, particularly schools.

How to contact us

If students, schools or wider partners would like more information about how we collect, use and store personal data, they can contact our Data Protection Officer Jayne Taylor at:

Email [email protected]

Address: The Elephant Group, c/o Ark Globe Academy, Harper Road, London SE1 6AF

What information we collect and why

In order to carry out our work to improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups in higher education, we collect students’ personal data when they consent to being enrolled onto our Elephant Access programme via their school and/or attend an Elephant Access event. This personal information is collected through their schools’ database, student surveys and teachers’ feedback on their progress.

While the exact information we collect varies between activities, typical data that we might collect includes:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • School
  • Year group
  • Gender
  • Postcode
  • DOB
  • FSM and Pupil Premium
  • Ethnicity
  • Adopted from Care
  • GCSE point score
  • A levels and predicted grades
  • EPQ participation
  • Programme activity completion and RAG rating (assessment by teachers)

A full list of data types is available on request. We also collect some more sensitive data, or special category data, on the basis of the substantial public interest of our agenda to widen participation from particular underrepresented groups in higher education, and to support particular groups of students with shared characteristics. This includes information about:

  • ethnicity

What we do with this data

Some of this information, such as telephone numbers or any special requirements needed on the day of an event, is collected for administrative purposes, and will be deleted or anonymized after the event.

Some of the data collected will be used to inform activities required to support individual students and cohorts with similar characteristics (eg – studying STEM subjects), to ensure that Elephant Access is being targeted at the most appropriate underrepresented groups.

We also collect and retain some personal data for research and evaluation, to help us monitor who our programme is reaching and how effective our programme is at achieving its goals. This includes monitoring the characteristics of students applying to and attending our activities, and tracking participants to see if they enter higher education – this includes adding personal data into the Higher Education Access Tracker so we can track students’ progress throughout their university degree and graduate outcomes (see below); and UCAS Strobe to evaluate student outcomes against national cohorts.

Where we store information and who we share information with

Personal data provided to us directly by students with consent will be processed by The Elephant Group as the data controllers. Personal data provided to us directly by schools under their legitimate interest role as educators and supporters of students’ progress to university will be processed by The Elephant Group as the data processors.

We keep personal data securely stored where access is restricted to authorised staff only. We may share data with third parties when necessary for research or evaluation purposes. If we do share data we will ensure that appropriate agreements are in place to govern how the third party uses and stores this data.


One of the tools that we use to monitor and evaluate our outreach work is the Higher Education Access Tracker, or HEAT. HEAT is a non-profit service that helps universities across England monitor and evaluate their outreach programs. We may share student data with HEAT in order to track progress into higher education and beyond.

Further information on HEAT can be found on their website here:

How long we keep information for

We only keep personal data when necessary to fulfil our agenda of improving equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups in higher education, so when appropriate we will delete or anonymize superfluous personal data after an activity or event.

When data is necessary to evaluate and monitor our outreach work, we retain data for a reasonable time to enable evaluation and tracking of the impact of our work to be performed. For HEAT, appropriate data will be retained until students are 30 years old, or for 15 years from graduation if students enter higher education. For more details, please see HEAT's retention schedule.

Data subjects’ rights

Students have a right to access their personal data, to object to the processing of personal data, to change, erase, restrict and move their personal data.

Students should contact The Elephant Group’s Data Protection Officer using the contact details above to request a copy of the personal data we hold for them, to correct or update this data, or if they have queries about any of their other rights regarding our use of their personal data.

How to make a complaint

If students are unhappy with the way in which their personal data is being processed they may, in the first instance, lodge a complaint with The Elephant Group’s Data Protection Officer using the contact details above.

If they continue to have concerns thereafter they have the right to contact the Information Commissioner for a decision.


Changes to our privacy policy

Any changes to our privacy policy will be posted on The Elephant Group’s website, and where appropriate notified to those affected by email.