The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We are a registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland) with offices in the UK and in over 100 countries worldwide. The British Council applies the UK Data Protection Act 1998 to all of its global operations unless the local equivalent law is stronger. 

The UK Data Protection Act works in two main ways. It gives individuals rights over how their personal information is used and sets out rules for organisations that handle personal information. 

We need to handle personal information about you so that we can provide services for you. This is how we look after that information. 

When we ask you for personal information, we promise:

• to make sure you know why we need it

• to only ask for what we need, and not to collect too much or irrelevant information

• to protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t

• to let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you better public services - and if you can say no

• to make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary

• not to make your personal information available for commercial use without your permission. 

In return, we ask you to:

• give us accurate information; and tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address. This helps us to keep your information reliable and up to date. 

You can get more details on:

• how to find out what information we hold about you and how to ask us to correct any mistakes

• agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information

• circumstances where we can pass on your personal information without telling you, for example, to prevent and detect crime or to produce anonymised statistics

• our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete your personal information

• how we check the information we hold is accurate and up to date 

• how to make a complaint.

Information collected on our websites 

We collect personal information on our websites in line with the British Council’s Privacy policy

Accessing your personal information 

Under the UK Data Protection Act any individual has the general right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that the British Council holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’. 

When making a request you will need to give us: 

• a request in writing

• proof of your identity

• proof of your address

• any information that we reasonably need to process the request.

For example details of the British Council offices or staff that you have had contact with and when. We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact the Information Governance Advisor (Disclosures) at our Manchester office (details below). 

Although you should submit a request in writing, if would like to speak to someone in person, you can contact the Information Governance Advisor by telephone on the number below. 

More information 

Information Governance Advisor (Disclosures)

British Council

58 Whitworth Street


M1 6BB

United Kingdom

Phone: +44(0) 161 957 7624




For independent advice about data protection or if you think we have mishandled your information you can contact the: 

Information Commissioner’s office 

Wycliffe House 

Water Lane 



SK9 5AF 


Phone: +44 (0)303 123 1113 or +44 (0)1625 54 57 45 

Fax: +44 (0)1625 524510