Within the SAM Learning service, each Learner Account contains information that allows us to provide a personalised learning environment for each learner and meaningful reports on their activity and progress.
That information is completely under the control of your school, and we take seriously our role in storing and processing that data on your behalf. This section details the data content, how it is created and stored and the various rules that govern its use. Please note, this relates specifically to student data uploaded to our server by or under the direction of your school. We have a separate policy for data supplied by individuals in our Privacy Statement.
What student data is used?
We store the following data for each student:
First Name, Last Name, Admission Number, Gender, Date of Birth, Registration Group, Year Group, Unique Pupil Number (UPN) and Classes.
We also optionally collect data for Ethnicity, FSM, FSM 6, Pupil Premium, CLA, EAL and SEN.
Additionally, a record of the exercises completed and marks awarded is stored in each Learner Account when the student uses SAM Learning.
Why is student data needed?
Student data is only used to create Learner Accounts for individual progress tracking. We undertake not to use student data for any commercial purpose. The student data supplied by schools does not contain email or postal addresses or other contact details for learners and we do not ask learners for additional details after they log in.
Registration Group, Year Group and Classes are used to generate Progress Reports. These contain the First Name and Last Name of learners.
First Names are used on welcome screens and screens showing users’ marks. This is done to give a sense of ownership.
Date of Birth combined with initials is used to generate User IDs for learners to log in.
UPN is used to match student records for students moving school. This allows us to provide schools with a progress report for new students who have used SAM Learning at their previous school. This is particularly useful for the incoming Year 7 in secondary schools. UPN is also used to match pupil records for statistical research. UPN is used behind the scenes only and is not accessible by users of our website or our own staff. For this reason UPN does not appear anywhere on our website or on printed progress reports.
Admission Numbers are used to match students whose details may have changed since last year. We use Admission Number because other details (e.g. Last Name) may have changed and UPN is not available for all pupils.
Ethnicity, FSM, FSM 6, Pupil Premium, CLA, EAL and SEN data allow reports to be generated by teachers responsible for these groups of students. However, provision of this data is optional.
How is student data created?
Initially, student data can be exported from SIMS (via a RepGen Report) or other school-management software and uploaded by us on behalf of the school. Authorised staff in schools can also create and modify Learner Accounts manually.
Who controls student data?
Your school controls your student data and you can add, modify and delete student data without our involvement.
We only store your student data once there is a formal agreement between us – as a subscriber to the SAM Learning service or during a pre-arranged formal evaluation.
We store student data on a secure server. This means that we use encryption technology and firewalls to protect the information from being accessed by anyone else. We hold over 600,000 Learner Records and have never had a reported abuse.
Teachers and learners are assigned passwords that protect access to the system and ensure that only teachers and learners in your school can access your student data. No third party can access it without permission.
Data Protection Act
Parents – when providing the school with details about their children – are usually advised of the school’s data protection policy. Most schools’ policy specifies the school may provide students’ personal details to ‘suppliers, providers of goods and services’ for purposes of administration of education and training’. In which case no further permission from parents is needed to provide SAM Learning with student data. If unsure, your school’s data protection policy can be looked up on the data protection website www.dpr.gov.uk.
SAM Learning’s data protection notification number is Z7116737.
Usage data and marks
Students can view their own usage data, marks and personal details. Members of staff can view usage data and marks for students in their school. While details of specific schools or students are never released without permission, SAM Learning aggregates usage data and marks for statistical analysis and research, which may be published and used to provide comparative data to other schools and bodies interested in education.
We believe our Student Data Policy demonstrates our commitment to the security of your data and to its appropriate use. Indeed, David Grashoff (Third Party Product Manager, Capita SIMS) said:
‘Having reviewed SAM Learning’s Student Data Policy Statement, we found it to be a model of best practice for the use of student data in internet-based learning.’
If you have any questions about our use of student data, please contact our Schools Help Desk on 0845 130 4160.