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The Welsh Government is undertaking a survey of learners in Wales. The survey is specifically aimed at current learners in Welsh further education, sixth forms, work-based and adult in the community learning. Its purpose is to study the impact of COVID-19 on their experiences and wellbeing. This research will be used to help the Welsh Government understand the impact of COVID-19 on learners, and to inform its future work.

Welsh Government’s researchers will gather information through an on-line survey, the link of which will be promoted by Welsh learning providers, related networks and social media advertisements. Participation in this research is voluntary.

The Welsh Government is the data controller for this research. The information collected through the survey will be included in a research report, which may be published on the Welsh Government website. The Welsh Government will not identify any individuals who respond to the survey in that report.

What personal data do we hold and where do we get this information?

Personal data is defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier’.

The Welsh Government does not hold relevant contact details for learners and so the survey link is being made available via Welsh learning providers, related networks and social media advertisements. The survey is aimed at current post 16 learners in school sixth forms, further education, work based and adult community learning only. While it is possible for anyone to complete the survey, the target group is made clear at the start of the survey and those who are not in our target group will be asked not to fill in all of the questions.

Your views and experiences are important in order to help inform Welsh Government policies. Participation is voluntary and if you decide to participate, there are no compulsory questions in the survey. You may opt to respond to all or some of the questions asked.

We ask for your contact details so that the Welsh Government (or a contracted third party on our behalf) can contact you to ask further questions about the answers you have provided in this survey or to ask you to participate in further research about learners in your cohort. Providing your contact details is entirely voluntary. If you provide your contact details you are not obliged to participate in any further research if we contact you in the future.    

This research does not require the collection of any other personal data from you and you do not have to complete all questions. Your email will not be collected as part of the process of completing the survey. If you choose to provide additional personal data in any of your responses to the survey, we will not publish any information which will identify you. If you raise a query or complaint and provide personal data requesting a response, the researcher will forward the request only to the relevant Welsh Government official and subsequently delete it from the research data.

What is the lawful basis for using your data?

The lawful basis for processing information in this data collection exercise is our public task; that is, exercising our official authority to undertake the core role and functions of the Welsh Government.

Participation is completely voluntary. Research studies such as this are important for the Welsh Government to collect information and actionable evidence about its ability to deliver government priorities. The information collected in this research, for example, might be used to:

  • better understand the impact of COVID-19 on learners in school sixth forms, further education, work-based learning and adult learning in the community and what needs to happen to improve their learning experience
  • better understand how the first national lockdown, which started in March 2020, and the subsequent restrictions have affected the cohort’s learning and how that learning is going now; this will support Welsh Government’s decision making on future delivery of post-16 learning.

How secure is your personal data?

Personal data provided to Welsh Government is held on secure servers, and for this project a folder has been created that has access restricted only to the immediate research team. Any personal data provided will be stored in this restricted folder.

This survey is administered using a survey software programme called Smart Survey. We have ensured that Smart Survey is GDPR compliant and meets our expectations in terms of the security of any data collected via the software and all data is processed within the UK.

All data gathered through this research will only be reported in an anonymised format. It will not contain your contact details and any identifiable information in open-ended answers will be removed. Welsh Government’s researchers will use the information gathered to produce a report with headline findings, and this may be published on the Welsh Government website. This report will not include any information that could be used to identify individual participants.

How long do we keep your personal data?

Any personal data collected by this survey will be deleted by the Welsh Government research team two years after the publication of the survey findings, this includes your contact details if you provided them to be included in follow up of other future research.

Individual rights

Under GDPR, you have the following rights in relation to the personal information you provide as part of this research, specifically you have the right:

  • to access  a copy of your own data
  • for us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to object to or restrict processing (in certain circumstances)
  • for your data to be ‘erased’ (in certain circumstances)
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection

The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Phone: 01625 545 745 or 0303 123 1113.

Website: Information Commissioner’s Office

Further Information

If you have any further questions about how the data provided as part of this study will be used by the Welsh Government or wish to exercise your rights using the General Data Protection Regulation, please contact:

Semele Mylona
Email: semele.mylona@gov.wales
Telephone: 0300 025 6942

The Welsh Government’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at:

Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

Email: dataprotectionofficer@gov.wales