Day in the life of: Senior Information Governance Officer in our schools team

4 March 2022

A day in the life of… Rosie Kelly

Rosie has been with Veritau for six months, having moved from working as a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for a higher education charity.

She works in our schools team – Veritau acts as DPO for our 500+ school clients based all across the UK. We asked her what it’s like working as a Senior Information Governance Officer at Veritau.

What’s a typical day like?

“Working days at Veritau are varied and interesting – you just never know what will crop up. Most weeks I will have compliance review meetings booked in with schools and trusts, then I will work on the report and action plan with our recommendations to ensure compliance.

I also oversee the helpline and assist colleagues with any complicated queries that come in from schools.

When we are running workshops, myself and other team members will present these. We focus the workshops on helpful topics that schools benefit from extra guidance on.

I also look after the schools portal, which involves collaborating on and reviewing new resources, including Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs).

Each month I prepare the monthly bulletin, which collates interesting articles and guidance from the team and updates schools about our latest resources.”

What kind of clients do you work with?

“We work with a diverse range of education bodies, including maintained, private, MATs, religious and special schools. Our clients are primary and secondary schools and further education colleges.

Members of our schools team are specialists in how data protection and related legislation apply in the education sector, and the unique challenges faced by schools.”

Do you supervise any staff members?

“As a Senior Information Governance Officer, I have direct reports in the team and it is important to ensure my colleagues are exposed to different types of work and learning opportunities.

Supporting and mentoring trainees and officers is very rewarding. Veritau runs a fantastic graduate trainee scheme and we have been lucky to attract really hardworking and talented trainees.

Providing positive feedback and encouragement is a key part of the ethos here, and I believe that is what results in the high levels of career progression and staff retention at Veritau.”

What attracted you to a role in information governance?

“I was drawn to information governance because much of it is based around the UK GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018 and Freedom of Information Act 2000.

When the GDPR came into force, I was working in a law firm as a CILEx Associate Legal Executive. I had been specialising in data access and information laws as part of a project I was overseeing so I naturally fell into advising on preparation for the new, stricter data protection regulations.

I have always had a keen interest in human rights such as privacy, so working as a DPO (Data Protection Officer) was the perfect way to bring this together with the more commercial sensibilities and analytical skills that come from the legal sector.”

What do you enjoy most about the job?

“I really value being part of a wider team of colleagues who are all highly skilled in data protection. I think it also benefits schools to outsource the DPO role to an entire team, because staff are always available.

We share and draw on our different areas of expertise, and there is a real team spirit. I enjoy dealing with the trickier requests that involve interpretation or interaction between multiple pieces of legislation, where the team can work together to solve the problem.

I also love meeting and visiting schools to carry out the compliance reviews, as it’s a great chance to build relationships with our clients and find out what else we can do to help. The service is very client-led, so if schools ask for something specific, we try our best to deliver it.

The most rewarding part of the job is getting positive feedback from schools. We have had some lovely feedback and they really appreciate our expertise and feel supported.”