Why data sharing is important

To provide the right help at the right time often means sharing personal information about people with relevant professionals and partners.

Lack of appropriate and timely sharing of information between safeguarding partners is a theme in national and local reviews of practice. Almost half of local child safeguarding practice reviews (LCSPRs) highlight issues relating to information sharing (Dickens et al., 2021).

Data sharing agreements

Data sharing agreements

  • set out the purpose of the data sharing
  • cover what happens to the data at each stage
  • set standards
  • help all the parties involved in sharing to be clear about their roles and responsibilities

It is good practice to have a data sharing agreement and having one in place helps you demonstrate you are meeting your accountability obligations under the UK GDPR .

How we’re leading the way in data sharing

Somerset Council and Bristol City Council were funded by the Department for Education as part of the Data and Digital Solutions Fund to deliver a model Safeguarding Data Sharing Agreement template and guidance.

The template and guidance are available below and can be used by agencies and organisations with safeguarding responsibilities who need to share data with partners for safeguarding reasons.

Document preview
Safeguarding Data Sharing Agreement Guidance

For agencies and organisations safeguarding children and families.

PDF, 1.33 MB

How to set up a data-sharing agreement

If you need to share personal or sensitive information about people with relevant professionals and/or partners, it is best practice to create a data sharing agreement.

The template below will help you set one of these up and should be used with the Safeguarding Data Sharing Agreement Guidance Document.

Document preview
Safeguarding Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) Template

This template should be used with the Safeguarding Data Sharing Agreement Guidance Document.

DOC, 213 KB

The two documents above should be used together. One provides guidance to enable the completion of the template. These documents have been designed to take you through your sharing journey. It not only provides a template but also guidance including examples of what is needed, technical advice and signposting to other key documents which can help you.

The template and guidance will lead you through the relevant sections and considerations required to allow for safe sharing of personal information. Alternatively, if you already have such agreements, it can be used to quality assure existing approaches.

Whilst focused on the safeguarding of children and families, these documents can support the implementation of a wider range of data sharing agreements which public authorities can use.


If you use these documents, we welcome your feedback. Please use the Feedback Survey button below.

The documents will be reviewed at key points over the next 12 months. We will take into consideration any feedback, legislation or practise changes.

Rights and responsibilities

Under data protection legislation, people are entitled to ask us for a copy of all the personal information we hold about them. This is known as the ‘Right of Access to Personal Data’.

They are also entitled to receive information about:

  • how we obtained their information
  • what we are using it for
  • whether we are sharing it with anyone

People are also entitled to:

  • request that we correct or rectify data that we hold about them
  • request that we erase or delete information that we hold about them
  • request a restriction of data processing while in a dispute
  • withdraw consent for lawful processing of their personal data

For more information about this, please visit Data Protection: rights for data subjects – GOV.UK.

Last reviewed: February 20, 2024 by Qi

Next review due: August 20, 2024

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