Privacy Statement

A special relationship exists between Merchant Taylors’ School (MTS), its pupils and staff, and its alumni and friends. The Development Office and the Old Merchant Taylors’ Society (OMT Society) strive to do all we can to nurture and enhance this relationship, for the benefit of the school and its alumni, keeping the spirit and ethos of the school at the heart of what we do. The Development Office works on behalf of the OMT Society to promote fellowship among alumni and to fundraise for the advancement of education at MTS.

Why your data is collected

The Development Office exists to link past and present members of the MTS community through a range of communications and literature, a varied events programme, careers advice and mentoring, and active fundraising for the school. To meet these aims, the Development Office maintains a database which contains personal data collected during our relationship with alumni and friends. We do our utmost to keep this data up to date and secure. This Privacy Statement explains how we collect, store, manage and protect your data. It outlines the types of data that we hold and how we use this information to support the school and alumni communities. We aim to be clear about how and why your data is being collected when we collect information, and not to do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect us to do thereafter.

How your data is collected

Data is collected through leavers’ forms as pupils become alumni, through Personal Information Forms (PIFs) submitted by OMTs, through updates on the school’s NetCommunity (My Merchant Taylors), and general update emails sent by OMTs to the school.

What information do we collect about you?

As part of our work we process and store personal information relating to our pupils, staff, alumni, parents, current and potential supporters. We have reviewed our responsibilities under The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and take our responsibilities under this Regulation seriously; the personal information we obtain is held, used, transferred and processed in accordance with this Regulation. The information we store may include:

  • Name, title, gender, and date of birth;
  • Contact details (postal address, email address, phone number, links to social media accounts);
  • Information about your time at MTS and other academic institutions;
  • Occupation and professional activities;
  • Recreations and interests;
  • Family and spouse/partner details and relationships to other alumni, supporters and friends;
  • Records of donations and Gift Aid status, where applicable (as required by HMRC);
  • Records of communications sent to or received by the Development Office or OMT Society;
  • Volunteering;
  • Media articles;
  • Information on your participation in school meetings, events, groups or networks;
  • Information about usage of NetCommunity.

We always aim to keep your details up to date, and occasionally conduct surveys (PIFs) to check the contact details we have for you are correct, updating them where appropriate. We may use information from publicly available sources (for example, Companies House, the Electoral Register, and the media) to better understand the needs and preferences of our community, and to assess the inclination and capacity of individuals to support MTS financially or by volunteering their time. We also use publicly available sources to carry out due diligence on donors, reflecting the MTS Gift Acceptance Policy and to meet money laundering regulations.

The Development Office is fully PCI-DSS compliant. Bank details used for processing Direct Debits are stored under the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme. Donation forms are held electronically on our secure database, with hard copies stored securely, and credit/debit card details are only held for as long as might be necessary for auditing purposes, following which they are securely destroyed.

How we use your data

All data will be used and processed by the Development Office for a full range of alumni engagement and fundraising purposes including (but not exclusively):

  • Sharing alumni, school, and campaign news through publications including (but not limited to) Concordia magazine, Parvae Res, Scissorum;
  • Notification of events;
  • Invitations to engage with fundraising activity;
  • Information regarding alumni member groups and careers networks;
  • Communications from other alumni who wish to contact you;
  • Requests to complete surveys;
  • Promotion of discounts and services available to alumni.

To fulfil these purposes, these communications may be sent by mail, email, telephone and social media. Unless you tell us otherwise your data may be made available to third parties to the extent necessary for any of the purposes set out above. These third parties include school staff and departments, recognised OMT clubs and societies, and agents contracted to provide administration services (such as the printing and distribution of any correspondence documents).

The school Careers Office works closely with the Development Office and may approach alumni and parents for support with careers initiatives and events. Alumni will be contacted if they have indicated to the school that they are prepared to help in this way – these wishes are stored on an individual’s data record. Where we commission external agents to process your data for administrative services, we commit to ensuring all due diligence has been conducted, including entering legally binding data sharing agreements which clearly define the terms of how your data is used and for how long. Your data will not be shared with any commercial organisation for direct marketing purposes, but the Development Office may send you offers from commercial organisations if they believe that they are in your interest (for example, OMT discounted rates for membership of the Oriental Club). An example of an external agent processing your data is the use of consultancy firms to assist in the running of telephone campaigns. We run biennial telephone campaigns during which we call alumni and parents to talk to them about their experiences of MTS and to discuss with them the possibility of supporting the school either financially or by giving their time to offer the pupils and their fellow alumni careers support. Campaigns are coordinated by the consultants, but overseen at all times by the school’s Development Office. Buffalo Fundraising Consultants have been engaged on every campaign we have run so far. Everyone we intend to call is written to before the campaign, so they can expect a call and may indicate in advance if they do not wish to be contacted.

Copies of Concordia magazine are made available to historical archives like the British Library.

Our online NetCommunity has an area that is security protected and only accessible by OMTs. In this part of the site, OMTs may share their contact details with fellow OMTs for social or careers purposes. Only those who have given consent to appear in the relevant directory will be included, and OMTs may withdraw their consent by contacting the Development Office, or by changing their preferences in their secure NetCommunity profile.

Retention of your data

In consenting to share your data, you are giving permission for us to retain your data for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out above, but certain data may subsequently be retained for accounting, recording or auditing purposes or as required by law. When any data reaches the end of its retention period it is destroyed securely.

Protecting your data

We are committed to holding your data securely and sensitively, in accordance with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679). Your data is held on a database hosted on a secure server by Blackbaud Inc in the United States. Blackbaud Inc are signatories to Privacy Shield.

The European Commission adopted the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield as a replacement for the Safe Harbor mechanism. EU and Swiss laws prohibits the transfer of data belonging to their residents to other countries whose laws may not protect personal information as stringently as in the EU and Switzerland, respectively. The Privacy Shield bridges the gap between U.S. privacy laws and the EU and Switzerland's, and permits the unfettered flow of data from those countries to companies in the U.S. that certify their compliance with the Privacy Shield.

The Privacy Shield allows U.S. companies certifying that their data practices meet the framework’s principles to receive the personal information of EU and Swiss residents. These new principles encompass the European and Swiss belief that the protection of one’s own personal data is a fundamental right. The Privacy Shield framework allows Blackbaud to receive data from European and Swiss customers and donors, and brings guidance and clarity to how all companies in the United States can ensure an adequate level of protection for EU and Swiss residents’ personal information.

The school's database is protected by multi-level authentication and access is restricted to individuals who need to see the data to carry out their duties at the school. This is limited to members of staff in the Development Office and Careers Office, and assigned IT support. User access rights to the database are restricted according to individual job roles to ensure that users only see information relevant to them. This access is reviewed on a regular basis.

We will not disclose your data to individuals, organisations or other entities outside the Development Office other than those acting as agents for the Office (OMT Society event organisers, or companies providing printing and distribution services, for instance). All external entities with whom data is being shared must sign a contract or confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement before any data transfer takes place. We do not sell to or trade your data with any other organisations. Although most of the information we store and process stays within the UK, some information may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This may occur if, for example, one of our trusted partners’ servers are in a country outside the EEA. Where these countries do not have similar data protection laws to the UK, we will take steps to make sure they provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679), for instance, by entering data sharing and processing agreements and in accordance with Article 13 of The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679).

In the unlikely event that we wish to process your Data for a purpose other than those outlined above, we commit to provide you with details of that purpose.

Your rights

You are not obliged to share your data with us, but doing so will ensure a lifelong relationship with MTS and enable us to ensure that we approach potential donors to MTS appropriately. We undertake not to record or use your data in any way which will cause damage or distress and have conducted  Privacy Impact Assessments in order to prevent inappropriate use of your data or our communications to you. We will use your details until you tell us you no longer wish to hear from us and will always try to ensure that the data we hold for you are up to date, reasonable and not excessive. You will always have the right to:

  • Request access to the information we hold about you, free of charge and for your own purposes, provided in a structured, commonly used and readable form, within one month of submitting your request;
  • Request amendments to the information we hold about you;
  • Change your communication preferences at any time;
  • Request copies of data sharing agreements entered into with third party agents such as mailing houses;
  • Request that we erase your personal information from our records or restrict the processing of your data;
  • Lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority;
  • Object to the processing of your information for any of the purposes outlined above.

Staying in touch

There are lots of ways in which you can stay in touch with MTS. When providing us with your data to be contacted for the purposes outlined above, you are also able to tailor how we communicate with you (for instance, by post, email, SMS, or social media).

Data accuracy

Alumni and supporters are encouraged to make sure that their own data is accurate by returning any update forms received, by updating their details or by contacting the Development Office via development@mtsn.org.uk. OMTs can also update their details here on the NetCommunity pages by logging in and navigating to the 'My Profile' page.