Role of the data protection officer (DPO)

Understand the DPO's responsibilities, what experience they should have and training they may need. Plus, find out what to consider when determining how much time your DPO needs for their role.

Last reviewed on 13 April 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 33679
  1. Who you can appoint to the role 
  2. Responsibilities of the DPO
  3. Qualities and experience
  4. Your obligations regarding the DPO

Who you can appoint to the role 

All schools are required to have a data protection officer (DPO) under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

Your DPO should be someone in your school or an external data protection adviser. The person is responsible for monitoring data protection compliance and has the knowledge, support and authority to do so effectively.

Your DPO must:

  • Be independent
  • Have an expert understanding of UK data protection law
  • Report directly to the highest management level of the school, which would usually be the board of governors or trustees
  • Have adequate resources to carry out their role 

To find your DPO, you can:

Appoint an existing staff member If you give the