Cookie Policy

The Improvement Service website puts small files known as ‘cookies’ onto your computer. This policy explains what cookies we use and their purpose. It also gives you some information on how to reject and remove cookies.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small data files sent by a website’s server to a user’s computer and stored there. They can be used for a range of purposes, such as tailoring a website for a particular user, storing user preferences and login information, and improving the website experience.

You can find out more about cookies at

Essential and non-essential cookies

Cookies can be categorised as essential or non-essential.

Essential cookies - these cookies are necessary to provide an online service (i.e. this website) which you have requested. The website will not function properly without them.

Non-essential cookies – these are any cookies that do not fall within the definition of essential. They’re often used to analyse how websites are used or to set preferences.

Session and persistent cookies

Cookies are classed as either ‘session’ or ‘persistent’, depending on how long they last after they are placed on your browser.

Session cookies last for as long as you keep your browser open. They expire when you close your browser.

Persistent cookies expire at a fixed point in time or if you manually delete them from your browser.

First and third party cookies

First party cookies are cookies placed on your device by our website domain (

Third party cookies are cookies placed on your device by other website domains.

Cookies used on our website

The table below summarises the cookies we use on this site to help make sure our website delivers information and services securely. Please be aware that you cannot opt-out of the 'SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION' cookie. It is essential to the effective performance of our site and without it, you wouldn't be able to move around our website or use its features.

Squiz matrix session SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION These session cookies allow the site to identify a unique user visit. These do not contain any human readable personal data and are used for website functionality. They expire after a browser session. Session
Google Analytics _ga Google Analytics cookie used to register a unique ID to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website 2 years
Google Analytics _gat_UA Google Analytics cookie used to throttle the number of requests received by users 10 minutes
Google Analytics _gid Google Analytics cookie used to throttle the number of requests received by users Session VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE Tries to estimate the users' bandwidth on pages with integrated YouTube videos 179 days YSC Registers a unique ID to keep statistics of what videos from YouTube the user has seen. Session PREF Registers a unique ID that is used by Google to keep statistics of how the visitor uses YouTube videos across different websites. 8 months

How to accept or reject cookies

There are a number of different ways in which you can accept or reject some or all cookies and similar technologies.

When you first visit our website, you will receive a cookie notification message. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. If you decline cookies, only the cookies essential for the operation of the site will be downloaded.

Most browsers allow you to turn off cookies or customise your settings for cookies. To find out how to do that, see the Help settings on your browser. Please note that if you turn off cookies or change your settings, some features may not work correctly.

We use Google Analytics software to collect data about how you use our website. If you don’t want Google Analytics to collect data about your site use, you can install the Google Analytics browser add-on.

Some browsers allow you to change your settings to browse in ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ mode. This limits the amount of data placed on your machine and automatically deletes any persistent cookies when you finish your browsing session.

Changes to this policy

Please be aware that this Policy may be updated at any time. As such, please ensure that you regularly read the latest version of this page.