Privacy notice

Who we are

Refer serious misconduct by a teacher in England is run by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE).

Our service allows anyone to refer serious misconduct by a teacher.

For the purpose of data protection legislation, DfE is the data controller for the data we hold and process.

Purpose and lawful basis for processing

The lawful basis we rely on for this processing of your personal data is public task, under article 6(1)(e) of the UK GDPR. This allows us to process personal data when this is necessary to do our work as a government department. The Education Acts of 2002 and 2011 allows this.

When we use your sensitive information, this is ‘special category’ data. The reason we use it is because we have a substantial public interest under article 9(2)(g) of the UK GDPR, and the Education Acts 2002 and 2011 allow this.

Data we collect

We receive your personal data from you when you use this service and from third parties including:

  • employers or supply agencies
  • police forces
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • members of the public

We process this information to regulate the teaching profession by investigating allegations of serious misconduct.

DfE collects and uses the following personal information:

  • personal identifiers (name, date of birth, email address, home address, telephone number, National Insurance number, TRN)
  • contact information (home address, email address, telephone number)
  • teacher status (QTS or EYTS, induction status, ITT result)
  • qualifications (previous degrees)
  • supplementary teaching qualifications (mandatory qualifications, national professional qualifications)
  • employment details (current or previous employer)
  • financial details (for expense purposes, if applicable)

We may collect and use the following special category data:

  • your racial or ethnic origin
  • your political opinions
  • your religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • whether you are a member of a trade union
  • your physical or mental health
  • your sexual orientation
  • the commission or alleged commission of any offence by you, for example details of the allegation
  • any proceedings for any offence committed, or alleged to have been committed, by you, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceeding

Full details about how we process special category data are given in DfE’s appropriate policy document.

What we do with the data

As a teacher, witness or potential witness within a teacher misconduct investigation, or a person making an allegation, we receive your personal data from you and third parties including employers or supply agencies, police forces, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and members of the public. We process this information to regulate the teaching profession by investigating allegations of serious misconduct.

Sharing your data

We sometimes need to make personal data available to other organisations. This also includes contracted partners.

Where we need to share your personal data with others, we comply with data protection legislation.

Accused teacher and their employer

If there is an investigation, we tell them the name of the person who made the referral and details of their allegation. If there is no investigation, we tell the teacher that there has been an allegation but we do not share your personal data. If the teacher makes a subject access request, we give details of the allegation but not the name of the referrer, unless the referral came from an organisation, when we give the name of the referring organisation. This is compliant with Education Acts 2002 and 2011.

If there is an investigation, legal firms we hold contracts with will process your personal data on our behalf. They process the data we provide to gather information to support misconduct investigations and hearings. Some legal firms will also review this data to provide impartial legal advice during misconduct hearings. This is compliant with Education Acts 2002 and 2011.

Professional conduct panels

We appoint independent panel members who sit on professional conduct panels to consider cases of serious misconduct and they may make recommendations on prohibition to the Secretary of State. They need this information to fulfil this role. This is compliant with Education Acts 2002 and 2011.

Published decisions

We will publish the teacher's personal data within a decision document on GOV.UK if a finding of serious misconduct is made. We will not publish the referrer’s data. This is accessible by members of the public. This is compliant with section 15 of the Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012 and section 141c of the Education Act 2002 (updated).

DBS and other organisations

We may need to share your personal data with DBS and other organisations (including, but not limited to, local authority organisations and employers) to safeguard children, young people and adults. This is compliant with Section 45 of the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.


We may need to share your personal data with the police and the police share information with DfE so we can fulfil our statutory roles. This is compliant with section 31 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Other teaching regulators

We may need to share your personal data with other teaching regulators so they can regulate the whole education sector. This includes, but is not limited to the:

  • General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS)
  • General Teaching Council Northern Ireland (GTCNI)
  • Teaching Council Ireland (TCI)
  • Education Workforce Council (EWC)

This is compliant with Schedule 2 Paragraph 6 of the Data Protection Act.

Our finance team

If applicable, we may need to share your financial details with our finance team to pay any expense claims you make.

How long we keep your data

We only keep your personal information for as long as we need it. We decide how long to keep your information based on what we need and also what the law says. All data is securely and permanently deleted at the end of the retention period. We call this our data retention policy.

We hold information on the teaching workforce, and those with restrictions placed upon them, to support education services and to maintain public confidence in the teaching profession.We keep your personal information for as long as we need to for the purpose of regulating the teaching profession, specifically up to 50 years after the closure of a case. After 50 years it will be securely destroyed.

Your rights

We are relying on public task for this processing. This means you have:

  • the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data – this is called the ‘right to be informed’
  • the right to ask us for copies of personal information we have about you – this is called the ‘right of access’ and is also known as a subject access request (SAR), data subject access request (DSAR) or right of access request (RAR)
  • the right to ask us to change any information you think is not accurate or complete – this is called the ‘right to rectification’
  • the right to ask us to stop using your information – this is called the ‘right to restriction of processing’
  • the ‘right to object to processing’ of your information, in certain circumstances
  • rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling
  • the right to complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO) if you feel we have not used your information in the right way

There are legitimate reasons why we may refuse your information rights request, which depend on why we are processing it.

For more information, see the ICO’s guide to individual rights.

See the Request your personal information section for more on what you’re entitled to ask us or any of our executive agencies, and your rights about how your information is collected and used.

Data processors

A data processor is an organisation that processes your information on DfE's behalf. We do not use any data processors for this processing activity.

Changes to this notice

We may occasionally change this privacy notice. When we make changes to this notice, the 'last updated' date at the bottom of this page will also change. Any changes to this privacy notice will apply to you and your data immediately. If these changes affect how your personal data is processed, we will take reasonable steps to make sure you know.

Last updated: 7 February 2024