The purpose of this statement is to describe CIFE's privacy policies: how and why we process personal data and your rights in relation to your personal data. We are committed to dealing with you in accordance with your reasonable expectations and with applicable laws and regulations. This privacy policy takes into account change brought in by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018. We will update it from time to time as necessary.

Just click on the    at the start of the orange boxes to show information. Click the    again to close the box.

About CIFE, the Council for Independent Education

CIFE is a small professional association representing the interests of a number of independent sixth-form colleges. It provides services to its members, runs a website at, and provides an advice and enquiries service to members of the public. It is managed by voluntary officers drawn from the Principals of Colleges. The CIFE Treasurer has specific responsibility for matters relating to CIFE’s processing of personal data.

How to get in touch with us

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or if you wish to exercise your rights in relation to your personal data, please get in touch by email ( We will deal with or forward your enquiry as appropriate.

CIFE’s contact postal address is 2 Rowan Close, Brackley, Northants NN13 6PB.

Personal data we may collect from you or about you

The information that we collect from you will depend on your relationship with us, and any information or services you wish to receive from us. It may also depend upon how you contact us (see later section on website).

If you contact us with a query or for advice we will collect and store the information you give us (whether that be by email, telephone or via the website contact form), and we may contact you for any further information we need in order to provide the advice you ask for.

If we have an agreement with you for services we /you provide we will store sufficient details to enable us to operate and fulfil that agreement.

We may also receive personal information about you from another source, for example from a CIFE member college supplying text /images to us for use on the CIFE website or for a CIFE event. We require the provider of such information to ensure that an appropriate legal basis exists for the use we may put it to (for example that you have given any necessary permission).

We do not normally collect or store sensitive personal data (such as information relating to health), called Special Category Data under GDPR. However, there are some situations where we may need to do so in order to advise you properly (e.g. if you tell us about a disability). We will need the explicit consent of the person involved if we do this. 

Our legal basis for collecting and using your personal data

We will only collect and process your personal data if we have a legal basis to do so. There are generally three legal bases under which we may process your data:

1. Legitimate interests:

In some situations we collect and process your personal data for purposes that are in our legitimate organisational interests.  In doing so we consider that there is no overriding prejudice to you and that you would reasonably expect us to use your data in this way. The information we process relating to queries and requests for advice comes under this basis.

2. Contract:

When you and we agree on a service you / we will perform you are entering a contract with us.  We need to process and store your data in order to perform this contract. 

3. Consent:

If we wish to use your personal details for marketing purposes we will ask for your explicit consent. However, CIFE does not currently contact people for this purpose.

If you want us to record any Special Category Data (eg health issues affecting the advice we may give) we will need explicit consent of the person concerned

While those under 16 years old have the same rights as adults over their personal data we won’t store personal data on them unless we know that we have consent of a parent or legal guardian to do so.

Ways we use your personal data

We analyse information about the enquiries we receive to understand common characteristics and preferences so that we can better understand patterns and trends in the concerns our enquirers may have. We publish summary and anonymised information on this to our member colleges.

If we think it is appropriate we will pass on enquiry information to member colleges so that they can respond with specific information. We also check twice a year with member colleges to find out whether enquirers have enrolled with them for courses (see ‘Sharing your personal information’ section below).

We use contact information (primarily email addresses) to keep in touch with individuals with whom CIFE has ongoing correspondence, for example staff in CIFE member colleges, staff at service providers and suppliers, people we have specific contracts with etc. We also store information relating to payments made by and received from individuals and suppliers.

Keeping your personal data secure

We use up to date physical and technical measures to keep your information safe, prevent unauthorised access to it and to prevent misuse or unauthorised disclosure of it, and we require that any third parties to whom we disclose your personal data do the same.

We control who has access to our data and provide staff with guidelines and, where required, training, on our data protection policies and procedures. Checking that these are being followed is a specific responsibility of the CIFE Treasurer.

Your personal data is stored and backed up in the United Kingdom, with the exception of website based storage, which is held within the EU. As described in the section on ‘website’ some functionality provided by third parties may result in non-specific information (such as IP address) about you being stored in the US.

How long we keep your personal data

In deciding whether, and for how long, we keep your personal information we consider the purposes for which we hold that personal data and then store it safely for as short a time as we need it to fulfil a legitimate purpose, or for as long as we legally have to keep it.

We take into account legal rules, your rights and our needs and twice a year we securely erase personal data which has passed its ‘keep-until’ date.

Sharing your personal data

We may share personal data with service providers, (for example, the CIFE accounts department, and the CIFE website managers), who may need to have access to your personal data for the purpose of providing services to us. We require our service providers to adhere to GDPR rules, and we do not permit them to use any personal data that we share with them for any purposes other than in connection with the services they provide to us, unless you have provided your consent for them to do so. We require them to delete any data provided to them at an appropriate time.

We may share your personal information with CIFE colleges if we feel that they may be able to provide you with advice, or offer a course, relevant to a request for information or advice you have made to us. We require CIFE colleges to agree not to share your personal details with others or to use them for other marketing without your express consent.

We may also share your personal data with third parties if we are required to do so by law or contract, to respond to legal process, to protect our staff, to protect lives, or to protect our rights or property.

We do not sell your personal data.

Your rights and how to exercise them

You have a number of legal rights in relation to your personal data.

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

To find out more about how these rights visit the Information Commissioner’s site.

You can find out if we hold your personal data and ask for a copy of it by making a ‘subject access request’. If we hold personal data about you, we will:

  • let you know what personal data is being held or used and why
  • let you know who can see your personal data
  • give you a copy of the personal data you request in electronic form
  • provide any other relevant information including how long we will hold your personal data for and how to correct inaccurate information that is held by us.

To ask any questions, or make a ‘subject access request’ or to exercise your legal rights, please contact the CIFE Treasurer via We will respond as soon as possible. We will expect you to verify your identity before we can act on your request.

The CIFE website

Our website address is: This section of the CIFE Privacy Policy describes those aspects of our website which may involve your personal data.

The site itself is built round the WordPress content management system, and is hosted by 1 and 1, a major hosting company based within the EU, in Germany. Personal data is not just created by your interactions with the CIFE site but also from technical processes such as contact forms, cookies, analytics, other ‘plug-ins’ and third-party embeds such as social media buttons. 

The website contact form

The site contact form is provided via a ‘plug-in’ called ‘Contact Form 7’. It does not store the data provided when a form is submitted and emailed to CIFE, but a copy is kept on the CIFE website server via another plug-in in case the original enquiry gets lost. As well as the information you put on the form, CIFE also receives your IP address, which gives the approximate location of the device you used to complete the contact form. Knowing the town / country helps us provide better advice.

Linking to third party websites

Our website includes links to other sites that we don’t control.  If you follow such links to visit other sites, such as the sites run by CIFE member colleges, any personal data that you may submit to the third party’s website will be processed in accordance with the third party’s privacy policies. We have no control over those policies and you will need to check those sites’ privacy statements to find out more. The same applies to plug-ins (such as the AddtoAny Share Button plug-in) which are provided through a third party website. 

Videos from YouTube / Vimeo

Videos on the CIFE site are provided via links to, for example, YouTube and Vimeo. If you view a Vimeo or YouTube video, a connection to the video provider’s server is established, informing it about which of our pages you have visited, and your IP address. The information is transmitted to a Vimeo or YouTube server in the US, where it is stored.

If you are already logged in to your video provider account when you view a video, it allows you to associate your browsing behaviour directly with your personal profile. You can prevent this by logging out of your video provider account. We enable videos on our site to provide a better user experience without the major overheads of hosting videos ourselves.

Web fonts from Google

For uniform representation of fonts, the CIFE site uses web fonts provided by Google. When you open a page, your browser loads the required web fonts into your browser cache to display texts and fonts correctly.

For this purpose your browser has to establish a direct connection to Google servers. Google thus becomes aware that our web page was accessed via your IP address. The use of Google Web fonts is done in the interest of a uniform and attractive presentation of our plugin. If your browser does not support web fonts, a standard font is used by your computer. 


Our website uses cookies to help provide you with the best experience we can. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.

Our cookies help us:

  • Make our website work as you’d expect
  • Remember your settings during and between visits
  • Improve the speed/security of the site
  • Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook

We do not use cookies to:

  • Collect any personally identifiable information (without your express permission)
  • Collect any sensitive information (without your express permission)
  • Pass data to advertising networks (such as for “remarketing” purposes)
  • Pass personally identifiable data to third parties

Granting us permission to use cookies

If the settings on the software that you are using to view our website (your browser) are adjusted to accept cookies we take this, and your continued use of our website, to mean that you are fine with this. Should you wish to remove or not use cookies from our site you can learn how to do this below, however doing so will likely mean that our site will not work as you would expect.

More about our Cookies

Session Cookies

We use ‘session’ cookies to make our website work including remembering your search settings. 

Visitor Statistics Cookies

We use first party cookies to compile visitor statistics such as how many people have visited our website, what type of technology they are using (e.g. Mac or Windows which helps to identify when our site isn’t working as it should for particular technologies), how long they spend on the site, what page they look at etc. This helps us to continuously improve our website. These so called “analytics” programs also tell us if how people reached this site (e.g. from a search engine) and whether they have been here before helping us to put more money into developing our services for you instead of marketing spend. We use Google Analytics on the CIFE site.

‘Third-party’ cookies

As described earlier our site, like most, includes functionality provided by third parties (videos, ‘like’ buttons etc).  If you use these facilities they will set their own cookies. Disabling these cookies will likely break the functions offered by these third parties.

Turning Cookies Off

You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies. Doing so however will likely limit the functionality of our’s and a large proportion of the world’s websites as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites

For more information about Cookies please see the Information Commisioner’s Office website.

Our Advice page links to more cife articles.