The Big Listen: Privacy Notice

In line with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), we need to let you know how your information will be processed. In this privacy notice, we explain:

  • who will have access to your personal data;
  • how your data will be used, stored and deleted; 
  • the legal basis for data processing; and 
  • who you can contact with a query or a complaint.

Who’s who?

This research is being carried out by an independent research organisation, the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). NatCen have been commissioned to carry out this research by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). 

You can find out more about NatCen at

You can find out more about Ofsted at

Who will access personal data?

NatCen are carrying out this research and named individuals on the NatCen research team will have access to:

  • Survey responses of parents/carers who complete the parent/carer survey
  • Names and contact details of parents/carers who consent to be recontacted about taking part in a group discussion
  • Audio recordings and transcripts from group discussions 
  • Survey responses of NatCen Panel members who complete the questions about Ofsted in the May 2024 wave.

No personal information that can identify individuals will be shared with Ofsted.

McGowan Transcriptions ( is the transcription service NatCen use to transcribe our group discussion data. They will have access to recordings and transcripts from all group discussions. McGowan Transcriptions is on NatCen’s approved supplier list and is compliant with all our information security policies.

How will the data be used?

The data collected will be used for research purposes only. 

Information and opinions gathered from survey questions and parents/carers group discussions will be used to understand what parents/carers and members of the public think of Ofsted, including Ofsted’s current inspection and regulation and reporting practices. All survey responses and group discussion data will be pseudonymised before being analysed, which means that any information that might identify an individual will be removed. 

All data will be treated in the strictest confidence and no individuals will be identified in any report arising from the research. 

Taking part is voluntary. Please note that an individual’s survey responses cannot be withdrawn after completion of the survey.  If you agree for NatCen to contact you after the survey, you are not committing to take part in a group discussion and are able to withdraw at any stage beforehand. It is not possible to remove an individual’s responses after the focus group has taken place. 

NatCen will securely delete personal information about research participants shortly after the research project is finished and by December 2024 at the latest. 

The legal basis for processing data

For the duration of the project, NatCen is the data processor. Ofsted are the data controller and are responsible for deciding the purpose and legal basis for processing data, which is ‘public task’. This means that, for the purpose of this project, the research is being carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority that Ofsted has and the data are needed to fulfil this purpose.

Who can I contact with a query or a complaint?

You have the right to raise any concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website at

Contact information

If you would like to confirm the authenticity of this research please see Ofsted’s webpage detailing the two organisations commissioned to help with Ofsted’s Big Listen: 

If you have any questions about this research, please contact the NatCen research team at

If you have any concerns about how your personal information is handled, please contact Neil Greenwood, Ofsted’s Data Protection Officer (DPO), at