Privacy notice for the Language Programmes evaluation

The Department for Education (DfE) is funding an evaluation of four of its Language Programmes that aim to promote and support high quality language education in schools. The government is interested in exploring how the programmes are working in schools, what is going well and what could be improved. The research will explore your experiences of learning a language at your school and your thoughts about languages. The research will be carried out over three years from 2024 to 2026.

Who we are

The DfE have asked two independent research charities to carry out this research: the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR). IES and NIESR are working together as the Research Team. The Research Team are not part of the DfE or your school but have been asked to find out what is working well and what could be improved.

For the purpose of data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for the personal data processed as part of the evaluation. The Research Team are data processors.

How we will use your information

As part of the research, we would like to learn about which languages you learn at school, any languages you speak outside of school and how you feel about learning languages. To do this, the Research Team will be running several different types of research.


In the first year of the evaluation, you will be invited to complete two surveys; one at the start of the summer term, and another in the autumn term of the 2024/25 school year. The two surveys will then be followed by annual surveys in 2025 and 2026.

Your teacher or school will send you an email link and invitation to the survey. By filling in the surveys you agree to take part in the research. You do not have to take part if you do not want to. The surveys will be completely anonymous. We do not ask for your name or any other information that could be used to identify you, so it will not be possible to link your answers to you. Your answers will only be seen by the Research Team and will not be shared with your teachers or parents.

Case Studies

If your school is taking part in a case study in the research, your teacher may invite you to take part in a focus group with the Research Team. The focus group will involve 4-6 pupils having a conversation with the Research Team, where they will ask you about your attitudes towards learning languages and your experiences of language lessons.

Please be aware that, if invited, you do not have to take part. You can also change your mind at any point about joining the focus group. We will ask you if we can record the conversation, so that we don’t forget any details, but will check first with the entire group to make sure everyone is happy with this.

If your school is taking part in a case study, you may also notice the Research Team conducting observations in your language lessons. Please be aware that the Research Team are observing your teachers and will not collect any personal information about you or any other students during these observations.


A report of findings will be published at the end of each year of the evaluation. Any reported findings will appear at a combined level with no individual participant or school being identified. Any disclosure of personal information within the surveys will be anonymised in any reporting.

We will only use your data for the purposes of research and evaluation.

Why our use of your personal data is lawful

In order for our use of your personal data to be lawful, we need to meet one, or more, conditions in the data protection legislation.

DfE processes your data under the basis of Public Task (Article 6(1)(e) of GDPR). In this case, it is necessary for the department to carry out this work, and to use the information for these purposes, to exercise its functions.

The nature of your personal data we will be using:

We will collect the following information about you via the online surveys so that we can understand the experiences and views of different groups. These questions are optional, so you do not have to answer them if you would prefer not to:

  • your gender
  • your ethnic background
  • whether you have a disability
  • if you have Special Educational Needs (SEN)
  • whether you are entitled to Free School Meals (FSM)
  • your opinions on studying modern foreign languages, and your attitudes/ perceptions around studying/using languages, language learning in general or careers, e.g. whether you think learning a language might be useful or if you are interested in living/working/studying in another country.
  • if you speak any additional languages at home or outside of school

Each school participating in the research has a different survey link so we will also record the name of your school (or their URN/LAESTAB number) with your survey response.

Where we will collect interview, observation and focus group data, we will also collect the following information:

  • your opinions

This information will be kept private and confidential. Only the research team will have access to this data. Your school or anyone else will not be able to access this information.

Who we will make your personal data available to

We sometimes need to make personal data available to other organisations. These might include contracted partners (whom we have employed to process your personal data on our behalf) and/or other organisations (with whom we need to share your personal data for specific purposes).

Where we need to share your personal data with others, we ensure that this sharing complies with data protection legislation. For the purpose of this research:

  • DfE need to share your personal data with a research contractor whom the DfE have commissioned to undertake part of the evaluation activity on behalf of the Department [the Research Team]. They will use the data as outlined above.
  • DfE are employing the IES and through them NIESR [the Research Team], to process your personal data on their behalf. This means that they will be collecting data through the survey, interviews and case study visits and analysing it on their behalf.
  • All personal identifiers and contact details will be destroyed at the end of the contract, and all feedback and findings from the fieldwork will be fully anonymised at the end of the contract.

How long we will keep your personal data

 We will only keep your personal data for as long as we need it for the research, after which point it will be securely destroyed. Please note that, under Article 89 (1) of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and following the relevant conditions, we can lawfully keep personal data processed only for research purposes indefinitely. The research team will destroy all personal data once the research is completed.

Your data protection rights

Everyone has rights around how their data is collected, stored or used that are protected by law. We have listed these below for your information. You have the right:

  • to ask us for information about you that we hold
  • to have your personal data corrected, if it there is a mistake or it is incomplete
  • to request that we delete or remove any personal data if there is no good reason for us to be using it
  • to limit how we process your personal data. For example, you could allow us to have the data but not use it for research.
  • to object to your information being used to send you adverts. This includes where companies use your information to build a profile of you so they can target adverts that they think would be of most interest to you.
  • to object to using your information for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics

If you need to contact the DfE about any of the above, instructions on how to contact DfE are provided at:

Further information about your data protection rights can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website at:

Who can I contact with a complaint?

If you are unhappy with us using your personal data, please let us know by contacting and state the name of this project.

Further information on your rights is also available from the Information Commissioner’s Office – this is the independent organisation responsible for regulating data protection within the UK. They can also deal with any complaints you may have about how we are using your data: 

  • Tel: 0303 123 1113 
  • Website:  
  • Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF 

Contact details for the project team

The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England.

■ Registration number: 931547

■ Charity registration number: 258930

■ Registered office: Institute for Employment Studies, City Gate, 185 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN3 1 TL6

■ Email:

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is a charity registered in England, Wales and Scotland.

■ Charity registration number: 306083

■ Registered office: 2 Dean Trench Street, Smith Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 3HE

■ Email:

Last updated

We may need to update this privacy notice over time, so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated in April 2024 and will be reviewed as needed over the course of the evaluation but it will be checked each year at minimum.