Privacy Policy

The purposes for which we collect your data

As part of your participation in the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is using SmartSurvey to collect personal data about you and your child or children. The data are being collected to help us assess the role of schools in coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, and how transmission within and from school settings can be minimised.

More information about the Schools Infection Survey is available.

The ONS will be the data controller for all data you provide via SmartSurvey and will only use your data for the purposes of producing statistics.

Legal basis

All statistical processing of your personal data carried out by the ONS is undertaken under the following condition set out in UK law:

"Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller."

For the purposes of the survey, the ONS may also use SmartSurvey to collect special category data, such as information on racial or ethnic origin and data concerning health. The condition that the ONS uses to process such data is:

"Processing is necessary for archiving in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes based on UK law."

A full list of relevant legislation is available.

Data security

All the information you provide via SmartSurvey will be kept securely, in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018). Any reports or statistics produced as a result of this study will not identify you, your child or children, or anyone in your household.

Data retention

The ONS has the statutory objective to promote and safeguard the production of official statistics that serve the public good. We will hold the data collected through this survey only for as long as the data remain useful for statistical research and production. We will also de-identify or anonymise data at the earliest opportunity without compromising its utility.

Data sharing

The ONS and SmartSurvey will not share any personal data relating to you or your child or children with any third parties or organisations that are not involved in the provision of services for this study.

More information on the organisations involved in the Schools Infection Survey is available.

The ONS may also provide access to de-identified data to accredited researchers for accredited research purposes via accredited processing environments, where it is lawful and ethical to do so. When making the de-identified data available, we may link the data we obtain through this survey with other survey and administrative data that we hold.

Your rights as a data subject

As a data subject, you have rights available to you under data protection law. If you wish to exercise any of these rights then please contact our Data Protection Officer, but please be aware that we may not be required to comply if the data are being held for statistical purposes only. Compliance requirements are set out in the Data Protection Act 2018.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding your data please contact the Data Protection Officer by telephone, email or post:

Telephone: +44 845 601 3034


Data Protection Officer
Office for National Statistics
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR

Contacting the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

For further information, or if you have any questions about the Schools Infection Survey, you can get in contact with the ONS by telephone, email or post:

Telephone: +44 845 601 3034


Customer Contact Centre
Room D265
Office for National Statistics
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road, Newport
South Wales
NP10 8XG

The Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the independent body tasked with regulating data protection within the UK. It can provide you with additional information regarding data protection and your rights, and will deal with any complaints you may have regarding our use of your data:

Telephone: +44 303 123 1113


Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


SmartSurvey is the service provider used to host this study online. SmartSurvey uses cookies on its website. Cookies are bits of data stored on the device you use to access the SmartSurvey website and services so it can recognise repeat visitors. Each cookie expires after a certain period of time, depending on what it is used for.

More information on cookies and how to opt out of them is available in SmartSurvey's cookie policy.

Accessibility statement for COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS)

This accessibility statement applies to the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses third-party software, built by SmartSurvey, for its online forms and surveys.

Accessibility of SmartSurvey forms

SmartSurvey forms and surveys are partially compliant with the WCAG 2.1 Level AA standard.

Information on the accessibility of SmartSurvey forms and surveys is available in the SmartSurvey accessibility statement.

Reporting accessibility problems with SmartSurvey forms

Contact us if you have any difficulties using this service, or if you think we are not meeting accessibility requirements.

Please let us know how you would like us to send you messages and documents. For example, audio recording or large print.

Telephone: +44 808 196 1270

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

If you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about SmartSurvey form accessibility

The ONS is committed to making its online forms and surveys accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

SmartSurvey forms are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 AA standard, because of the non-compliances listed in the non-accessible content section.

Non-accessible content

Some content in SmartSurvey forms is not accessible. As the SmartSurvey is third-party software, we are unable to directly fix the issues.

The ONS is reporting accessibility issues to SmartSurvey, and it is working on rectifying this in future releases.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some content and question types in SmartSurvey surveys and forms do not fully comply with the accessibility regulations.

More information is available in the "WCAG 2.1 survey fails" section of the SmartSurvey accessibility statement.

Where possible, the ONS will work with SmartSurvey to limit these issues.

When SmartSurvey forms were tested

The service was tested for WCAG version 2.1 AA compliance by SmartSurvey in December 2020.

How we are improving accessibility

We are identifying accessibility issues and informing SmartSurvey.

SmartSurvey is working to improve accessibility features in future releases.

This includes:

  • making simple question types WCAG 2.1 AA compliant

  • improving the accessibility of complex question types

  • conducting manual testing

  • inviting feedback from expert users with access needs

Until these accessibility improvements are completed, some forms may not be fully accessible.

Where this is the case, please contact us to explore other options.

This accessibility statement will be kept up to date, to reflect any issues identified or changes made to the SmartSurvey software.