Privacy policy

When you request a reminder of your teacher reference number (TRN), the Department for Education (DfE) collects and processes some of your personal data.

DfE is the data controller for your information, as defined by data protection law.

DfE is referred to as ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ in this privacy policy.

We share your data with the following data processors:

  • TRN providers and their delivery partners (referred to as ‘TRN providers’ in this policy)
  • auditors and evaluators who quality assure TRNs and TRN providers
  • Our lawful basis for our use of your data is the Public Task Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

What personal data we collect

When you request a reminder of your TRN we may collect the following information about you:

  • name
  • email address
  • teacher reference number (TRN)
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • the initial teacher training (ITT) provider (where you gained qualified teacher status (QTS) or early years teacher status (EYTS))

How we use your personal data

We use your personal data for the following purposes.

Finding your TRN

This includes:

  • validating your teacher reference number (TRN)
  • comparing your data to other data we hold
  • getting in touch if there’s a security issue concerning your data

Running and improving our services

We use your data to run and improve our services.

We may contact you about taking part in user research and look at any feedback you share - for example, through website surveys.

Getting insight to inform government policy

Your data contributes to our understanding of education, training and care in England, helping us to inform government policy.

Identifying you so that you can access DfE services

If we do not already hold your data on our records, we’ll add you to our database of educational professionals.

We use this to identify you so that you can access relevant DfE services.

Inform you of relevant government policies

We may contact you to inform you of government policies which are relevant to you. You can opt out of this if you’re contacted.

Who we share your data with

We need to share personal data for the purposes mentioned above.

We do so under section 132 of the Education Act 2002, together with regulation 5 of the Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003.

Customer service systems

We may use customer service management systems to process some personal data, such as feedback you send us.

Zendesk is currently our preferred customer service management system because it uses various safeguards to look after your data.


We’ll ask if you agree to cookies so that we can get statistics from Google Analytics. If you consent, Google may be able to get your IP address. We use Google Analytics for statistics and will not identify you personally from these.

We also use Google’s G Suite to process some personal data. Google processes your data according to our instructions.

Hosting services

We host our services on GOV.UK PaaS, which encrypts your data to prevent it being accessed by unauthorised people.


We use external auditors to quality assure our service.

How long we keep your personal data for

We will only keep your personal data for as long as necessary for the purpose for which it was obtained.

Your rights

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have the right to:

  • be informed about how your data is being used
  • access personal data
  • have incorrect data updated
  • have data erased
  • stop or restrict the processing of your data
  • get and reuse your data for different services
  • object to how your data is processed in certain circumstances

You can find more information about how we handle personal data in our personal information charter.

Get help

Contact the Department for Education if you want to ask us to remove your data or get access to the data we have about you.

For further information or to raise a concern, visit the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Changes to this privacy policy

We reserve the right to update this policy at any time.

We’ll provide you with a new policy if we make substantial updates.

We may also notify you in other ways about the processing of your personal information.

This version was last updated on 9 December 2022.