Privacy Policy

COBIS is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. This privacy policy sets out how the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) uses any information that you give COBIS when you use this website, and it forms part of the terms and conditions for use. If you provide us with information from which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that your information will only be used in accordance with this privacy policy.

COBIS may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 1 February 2013.

What we collect

We may ask you for the following information in the sections of the website that require registration details:

  • name and job title
  • contact information including telephone and email address
  • demographic information such as postcode
  • other information to enable us to provide a personalised service

What we do with the information we gather

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • to respond to enquiries and requests
  • internal record keeping and administration
  • we may pass your details to selected schools if you give us permission to do so
  • we may use the information to improve our products and services, including this website
  • we may use the information for statistical analysis
  • from time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email or phone, if you have given your permission for COBIS to contact you.

School photographs

If you wish to photograph pupils for official school use, please be aware that the photographs may be personal data and you should ensure that pupils (and/ or parents) are comfortable with the photography and are aware of the contexts in which such photographs could be used.


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when this website collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about visitors to this website, and those who log in to this website.

When someone visits this website we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting this website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

If you wish to restrict or block cookies you can set your internet browser to do so - click on the following link for further information

Use of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

The table below explains the cookies we use and why. Each cookie is listed by name, along with the following information:

Cookie Name

Cookie name note, if required.

What is it for?

A brief description of what the cookie is used for.

How long does it last?

A cookie can either be deleted after a predetermined timespan, or as soon as the user’s session ends. A session is deemed as ending when the user closes his or her browser.

What’s the implication for site behaviour?

How would the site visitor’s experience change in the absence of this cookie?

Where X is the ID of a page that has page-level authentication opt-in enabled

Where X is either "S" or "M" and where Y is the name of a field on a form

Where X is the name of a metadata search page, and Y is the unique ID of the current user

Where XX is the unique id of a web form survey page on your website

Cookie name

What is it for?

How long does it last?

What’s the implication for site behaviour?





These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site, using a service called Google Analytics. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.

Session, 30 minutes, 6 months or 2 years, depending on the cookie name

Without this, we will not be able to track the number of visitors to different parts of the website.


A random selection of letters and numbers agreed by prior calls between a third-party authentication system and the COBIS website to allow single-sign-on between different systems when configured.


Without this, the current user cannot be identified on the website, so signing in, purchasing items, My Profile, polls, and all other personalised sections of the site will stop working. This cookie is essential when a user signs in.


Contains the value "1" if a user has opted-in to access a page with page-level session opt-in enabled.


Without this cookie, page-level opt-in will not function.


Contains a value that will be shown as the default value in a question on a form. Allows third-party code to set form defaults.


If this cookie is not used, then default values cannot be set by any third-party system that is setting default values on forms in your site.


Contains the term that the user used to perform a metadata document search.


Without this cookie, document metadata searches will not work properly on the site.


The word "True" to record that the user needs to see the User Search form when on User Administration parts of the site. The word "False" is used to tell the system to hide the search form.


The user experience when searching for users is much degraded.


Used to track the user’s settings for their current browsing session. Typical content: randomly generated letters and text. Nothing in this cookie can be used to access a user’s private information.


Many site functions require this value.


Holds the date and time that the current session started and is used by the pop-up survey function to display a survey a set number of minutes following the user arriving at the site.


If not used, then the pop-up survey feature will not function.


A 32-digit randomly-generated number that identifies the shopping basket of the current customer.


Without this cookie, the user’s shopping basket will not be able to hold the contents of the user’s basket.


Contains whether the search column is being sorted in "ASC"ending or "DESC"ending order.


No. Although without it, the sort order of search columns will not be remembered and this function will not work.


Contains the name of the column on the User Search Results part of User Administration that is being used to sort the search results.


Without this cookie, the User Search Results table will not be sortable.


A unique identifier to determine the current user of the website, randomly generated when the user signs in.


Without this cookie, then certain user functions will not work.


The word "True" if the current user is allowed to modify the site.


Certain functionality is turned on or off based on this value.


Contains an alias name used by a user on the discussion forums.


If you use the alias function of the discussion forums, then it is needed.


Used to track whether the user is signed in. Typical content: randomly generated letters and text.


Without this cookie, then certain user functions will not work.


When you access the site, this cookie is set and is fundamental to site use.


Without this cookie, the site will not work.


A single-digit number that represents the current 'viewing option' being used by the website visitor.


If you want your users to be able to use the Viewing Options accessibility features of your site, then it is needed.


Encrypted value that identifies the current authenticated user within the system.


Without this cookie, then certain user functions will not work.

FormSubmission-{XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX}Where XX is the unique id of a web form page on your website.

Name only (holds no value) if a form has been set up to only allow a single submission, this cookie remembers that the user has submitted the form.

5 years

If you want to use the ‘single submission only’ feature of the Web Form template, then it is needed.


The word "Threaded" or "Flat" to determine the format that the user has selected to view discussion forums in.

1 year

Without this cookie, the display choice of the user will not be remembered.

username_XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXWhere XX is the unique identification number of a website.

Used to remember a user's username if the user selects the 'Remember my Username' box on the sign in screen of a site.

1 year

Without this cookie, the ‘remember my username’ feature will not work.

WebPoll-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXWhere XX is the unique ID of a poll on your website.

Name only (holds no value) if the user has voted on a poll.

On the date entered by the author as the end date of the poll

Without this cookie, non-signed-in users will be able to vote multiple times on a poll.

X-UserSearchDefinitionWhere X is a single digit number from 0 to 9.

Contains information entered by the user on the User Administration user search page. This allows the user to navigate elsewhere on the site and to return to the correct user search results.


Without this cookie, the search results will not be shown when the user returns to the search form.


The word "true" to record that the user has completed a pop-up survey and to ensure that the survey does not get redisplayed to the user.

100 years

Without this cookie, the popup survey will not be able to remember that it has been shown, and will continue to be shown to the user.

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use cookies to remember your login details and to tailor content to you as an individual. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

How to control cookies

If you do not wish to receive cookies you can set your web browser to restrict or block them. All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings, typically found in the 'options' or 'preferences' menu of your browser. In order to understand these settings, the following link may be helpful:

If you disable cookies you will not be able to use all the interactive features of our website.

Controlling your personal information

If you have previously consented to COBIS contacting you, you may change your mind at any time by emailing:

COBIS works with trusted companies which help us to manage our databases. Should you require more specific information, please email: We do not pass personal information onto any other third parties except where permission has been given or where we are required to do so by law.

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to: COBIS, 55-56 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4HP, UK or email: A small fee will be payable. If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.