Several months after the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25 May 2018, our sense is that many schools and organisations across Europe and beyond have come a long way.
Despite feeling a little overwhelmed at first, many of us have managed to complete our data mapping, adjusted where necessary, and maybe even tackled our first Subject Access Request.
As a new year dawns and the dust begins to settle, it appears that, even if there is still some way to go along this path towards compliance, the sky hasn't fallen on our heads and we have just enough perspective to take a step back to consider what this all means for the future of Advancement - by which we mean Admissions, Communications, and Development - in our schools.
And so, this week at the International School of Brussels, in partnership with 9ine Consulting, a band of Advancement professionals from Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Luxembourg , as well as subject experts and representatives from several major educational networks gathered together to collectively step back, reflect and begin to create a tool that will support us, as well as our colleagues around the world, in our Advancement Quest.
Specifically, our mission was as follows:
Define a set of standards or a code of practice that international schools could follow related to GDPR and Advancement.
Using a design-thinking approach, think about how we can create some common templates and tools so that we are not all reinventing the data privacy wheel.
Consider how to share these tools and resources with other schools to support them in their work.
Not surprisingly, our mission isn't yet accomplished. But a framework is already emerging that promises to deliver a set of standards that will drive us forward, as well as a continuum that will help us to think about where we shine and where there is still work to be done. We plan to have these ready for wider peer review by April 2019.
You see, we believe that Advancement is better when we manage the complexity inherent in what we do and distill our work down do the principles that drive positive and lasting change.
We believe that, together, we can build a common language and articulate universal aspirations that are independent of local country or regional laws.
We also believe that, together, we can design a common experience for students, parents, and employees transitioning through our schools; an experience that, in the end, is safer and more respectful of all of us than it ever used to be.
It's these beliefs that are driving us forward to define the standards, design the tools, and share them with Advancement colleagues that wish to be a part of this conversation.
If you want to be part of developing data privacy standards for schools with a particular emphasis on data privacy, don't hesitate to email us and we'll be happy to send you further updates.