Privacy & User Consent

Privacy Notice

Last updated: October 2020


At Global Schools Forum, we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We collect information about your organisation and public profile but will rarely collect personal information. However, this policy details what we collect and how we collect, use and manage any personal data you share with us.

We may change this policy from time to time, so do check our website for the most up-to-date version. 

If you have any questions about this policy, please send an email to or write to Global Schools Forum, The Yellow Building, 1 Nicholas Road, London, W11 4AN.

In Summary

  • User privacy and data protection are human rights
  • We care about you and your data and have a duty to ensure both are safe!
  • We will only collect and process your data when necessary to provide our services and support, as part of our legitimate interests as an organisation
  • We will never sell, rent or distribute your personal information

The detail

1. Who are we?

We are Global Schools Forum (GSF), part Absolute Return for Kids (Ark) which is registered in England as a company limited by guarantee (number 04589451) and as a registered charity (number 1095322) whose registered office is at The Yellow Building, 1 Nicholas Road, London, W11 4AN. For full details on Ark’s data protection policy, please see here. Ark is the entity responsible for, and in control of, GSF data.

2. Why this policy is important?

We care about you and about keeping your data safe; ensuring that we store it securely and use it only for the purposes you have agreed we can use it for. This policy details how we do that.

3. What legislation is relevant?

We ensure that our systems and website comply with the following data protection legislation:

Our compliance with the above legislation means that it is likely that we are compliant with the data protection and user privacy legislation set out by many other countries and territories as well.  If you have any questions about this, please contact us on .

4. How do we collect information from you?

We obtain information about you when you contact us directly, register for membership or register to receive our newsletter. We might also meet you at an event or be connected with you by one of our partners, members or contacts.

If we are collecting personally identifiable information through our website, we will do so using forms that clearly explain what we intend to do with it.

5. What type of information is collected?

5.1 Personal information

The personal information we collect might include your name, email address (the other information we collect is organisational rather than personal). This information is necessary for us to conduct our business and to provide you with the services you are signing up for or have requested. In these situations, you know what information you are giving us and why we need the information as you are requesting us to use your information to fulfil your request. For event registration, we may collect information about your food preferences and emergency contact details. These will be used for the purpose of the event only.

We do not collect any sensitive personal data, “special categories” as defined by UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) .

Data we hold will be used confidentially, and to help us run our services and keep you informed - for example, to collect subscriptions, mail out publications and let you know about conferences and events; or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary.

5.2 Organisational information


Information you provide us through our membership sign-up form, event registration forms and annual census is, in the main, about your organisation rather than personal. This information allows us to deliver services to you, make decisions about your membership status and develop and improve our membership offer. This information is used internally by the GSF team.


In addition, we use aggregated data from the annual census to generate and publish statistics about our members and therefore the non-state education sector to stakeholders, partners and interested parties. These statistics will not include any information that could personally identify you or your organization. For example we might say: ‘40% of our members run over 20 schools in low and middle income countries’.

5.3 Your activity on our Collaboration Platform

Only members have access to our collaboration platform. If you are a member, everything you do or contribute on this platform can be seen by all other members of Global Schools Forum aside from private messaging, which is only seen by those included in the conversation. You are able to delete your posts as any time and request for your profile to be deactivated by the GSF team.

By becoming a member of GSF and accessing the collaboration platform, your name, role, organisation and email address will be made available to all other members of GSF for the legitimate business interest of facilitating collaboration.

Our current collaboration platform GSFpedia is provided by YourMembership, so please ensure that you are happy with their data protection and privacy policy.

6. How do we use your information?

We will use your information to:

  • Carry out our obligations in relation to your organisation’s membership status with GSF including the legitimate interest of keeping an appropriate record of communications entered into with members and keeping up-to-date member records
  • Seek your views and comments on our services
  • Notify you of changes to our services
  • Send you communications that you have requested or those relating to membership necessary for the delivery of services
  • Process and respond to your request
  • Register you for an event we are running and communicate with you about it
  • Keep you updated on what GSF is up to and other relevant sector news and opportunities

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, or as long as is set out in any contracts we enter into with you. The Ark data retention schedule is available on request.

Only authorised employees and data processors (software suppliers and those working on behalf of GSF to deliver our products and services) will have access to your data. All parties who have access to your data are required to process/use that data in accordance with the provisions of current data protection legislation and GSF’s Data Protection  Policy.

7. What about third party data processors?

We use a number of other data processors to help us deliver our services to you. These are called ‘third party data processors’. Each of them have their own data protection and privacy policies that you should be aware of. We only use third party data processors that are compliant with the highest data protection legislation ensuring secure data storage and transfer. Where data is stored outside of the EU, third party processors abide by the EU-US Privacy Shield. Please be reassured that we will not sell, trade, rent, exchange or otherwise share your personal information to third parties for them to use for their own purposes, unless you have requested us to do so, or we are required to do so by law, for example, by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime.

7.1 We use:

  • YourMembership (owned by Community Brands) for our contact database, online forms, event registration, group emails, website and our member only collaboration platform through GSFpedia
  • Facebook for social media
  • Google to provide Google Forms for people to complete and Google Drive for our documents
  • Outlook for our work emails
  • Microsoft Teams for internal calls
  • Zoom for webinars
  • Twitter for social media
  • LinkedIn for connecting with individuals and organisations

7.2 Social buttons

Visitors may use these to bookmark or share our web pages. There are buttons for: Twitter Share, Facebook Share and LinkedIn Share. These work using scripts from domains outside of and it is likely those sites will collect their own information about what you are doing. You should review the policies of each of these sites to see how they use your information and to find out how to opt out, or delete, such information.

7.3 Links to other websites

Our website also contains links to other websites that may be of interest to our visitors. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, this privacy statement no longer applies and we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting those sites - such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. Again, please check the respective policies of any such sites that you chose to visit.

8. How can you access and update your information?

You can request a copy of the information we have about you at any time and we will provide you with a full copy within one calendar month free of charge. If you change any of your contact details, and would like these to by updated on our system, please email and we will make the changes.

You can withdraw consent at any time for your data to be processed and used by GSF. In this situation we will advise you of the implications of this and if you are a member, how this will affect your membership status with us. At your request your data will then be deleted from all our systems in line with our data retention schedule.

9. What will we do if there is a data breach?

If there is a data breach, Our Data Protection Officer will investigate and where it is deemed to be likely there is a risk to the rights or freedoms of data subjects, you will be contacted, in addition to contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office.

10. Will we transfer your information outside the EEA?

We do not normally transfer your information to a different country outside the EEA. However, some of our external third-party support partners are based outside the EEA so their processing of personal data will involve a transfer of data outside the EEA. Whenever we transfer personal data out of the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented, including:

  • We will only transfer personal data to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission;
  • Where we use certain service providers, we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal data the same protection it has in Europe and Standard Contractual Clauses.

11. What are your rights with regards to your data that we hold?

Data subjects have the right to do the following with regards to their own data:

  • Ask us for a copy of the information we have about you. This is called a ‘subject access request’;
  • Ask us to correct any information we have about if you think it is wrong;
  • Ask us to erase information about you (although we may have good reasons why we cannot do this);
  • Ask us to limit what we are doing with your information;
  • Object to what we are doing with your information;
  • Ask us to transfer your information to another organisation in a format that makes it easy for them to use.

12. Who should you contact if you have any questions or concerns?

Global Schools Forum and Ark aim to comply fully with its obligations under the GDPR. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Ark management of personal data including your data subject rights, please contact us on, or raise your query with the Data Protection Officer ( who is responsible for ensuring Ark is compliant with the GDPR.

If you feel that your questions / concerns have not been dealt with adequately on any data protection matter, please get in touch with us and the matter will be escalated to our Head of Governance. If you remain unhappy with our response or if you need any advice you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 030 123 113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number. Please visit their website ( for information on how to make a data protection complaint.

13. What if we change our products and services or this policy?

As our products and services change and also as national and international policy and law change, we may need to update this policy. For members we will post any updates on our collaboration platform. For other users of our sites, our updated policy will be available on our website. Please check this policy regularly to ensure you understand how we use your information.

It is a condition of using the sites and our services that you agree to this policy and how we use your data for legitimate purposes as described in more detail above.


Change log


Written – 3 November 2017

Published – 4 December 2017

Updated – 7 March 2018

Updated – 22 May 2018

Updated – 04 June 2018

Updated – 22 March 2019

Updated – 20 October 2020

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