ESFA Privacy Notice

How We Use Your Personal Information

This privacy notice is issued by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Education (DfE). It is to inform students about the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and how their personal information is used in the ILR. Your personal information is used by the DfE to exercise our functions under article 6(1)(e) of the UK GDPR and to meet our statutory responsibilities, including under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.

The ILR collects data about students and learning undertaken. Publicly funded colleges, training organisations, local authorities, and employers (FE providers) must collect and return the data to the ESFA each year under the terms of a funding agreement, contract or grant agreement. It helps ensure that public money distributed through the ESFA is being spent in line with government targets. It is also used for education, training, employment and wellbeing purposes, including research. We retain ILR student data for 3 years for operational purposes and 66 years for research purposes. For more information about the ILR and the data collected, please see the ILR specification at

ILR data is shared with third parties where it complies with DfE data sharing procedures and where the law allows it. The DfE and the English European Social Fund (ESF) Managing Authority (or agents acting on their behalf) may contact students to carry out research and evaluation to inform the effectiveness of training. In these cases, it is part of our statutory duties and we do not need your consent.

For more information about how your personal data is used and your individual rights, please see the DfE Personal Information Charter and the ESFA Privacy Notice

If you would like to get in touch with us, you can contact the DfE in the following ways:

  • Using our online contact form
  • By telephoning the DfE Helpline on 0370 000 2288
  • Or in writing to:Data Protection Officer, Ministerial and Public Communications Division, Department for Education Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

    If you are unhappy with how we have used your personal data you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) at:

  • Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

    You can also call their helpline on 0303 123 1113 or visit their website