Freedom of Information
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- The aims of the policy are to:
- explain the arrangements for the management of the legal duty to provide access to a range of information;
- set out the Academy's process for meeting requests; and
- set out various responsibilities.
- The governing body is responsible for making and reviewing the policy.
- The Headteacher is responsible for the implementation of the policy, and discharging the duties in paragraph 6.
- The Academy will set out in its Freedom of Information policy (FOI) scheme:
- The classes of information which the Academy publishes;
- The manner in which the information will be published; and
- Whether the information is available free of charge or on payment.
Classes of Information
- The classes of information that the Academy undertakes to make available are organised into four broad topic areas:
- Academy Prospectus – information published in the Academy prospectus.
- Governors’ Documents – information published in any Governors Report and in other governing body documents, including minutes of meetings (minus any information deemed by the Chair to be information that should properly be withheld.)
- Students & Curriculum – information about policies that relate to students and the Academy curriculum.
- Academy Policies and other information related to the Academy - information about policies that relate to the Academy in general.
- The Academy scheme covers information already published and information which is to be published in the future. Some information may not be made public, for example personal information about named persons.
- The Academy’s publication scheme conforms to the model scheme for schools approved by the Information Commissioner.
- The Academy’s policy is that:
- An enquirer must be informed whether the Academy holds that information or not, and if it does, it will supply the information as long as it is lawful to do so (e.g. taking into account Data Protection);
- The information must be supplied within 20 working days of the request;
- The information can include personal or non-personal information, but no information relating to named individuals will be released;
- Other information that the Headteacher considers to be of a sensitive nature may also be withheld. In so deciding the Headteacher will consider whether it should be released in the public interest if in withholding the information is greater than the public interest in releasing it;
- The Headteacher will administer the Academy's process for providing information. In so doing the Headteacher will take into account the Code of Practice;
- The Academy recognises its duty to provide advice and assistance to anyone requesting information.
- On receipt of a request in writing for information the Headteacher will:
- Decide whether the request is a request under Data Protection Act, Environmental Information Regulations or Freedom of Information Act;
- Decide whether the Academy holds the information or whether the request should be transferred to another body if the information is held by them;
- Provide the information if it has already been made public;
- Inform the enquirer if the information is not held;
- Consider whether a third party’s interests might be affected by disclosure and if so consult them;
- Consider whether any exemptions apply and whether they are absolute or qualified;
- Carry out a public interest test to decide if applying the qualified exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information;
- Decide whether the estimated cost of complying with the request will exceed the appropriate limit (currently £450 with a maximum of £50 per individual educational record);
- Ensure that if a request is made for a document that contains exempt personal information, the personal information is to be removed by applying redaction;
- Consider whether the request is vexatious or repeated.
At all times the Headteacher and any staff involved in the Scheme will take into account the Academy’s equal opportunities policy.
Monitoring and Review
- The Headteacher is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the policy and recommending any amendments to the governors.
- The governors will review the policy every two years or earlier if appropriate.
Ownership and Date of the next review
- Policy owned by: Curriculum and Personnel committee
- Last Reviewed and Approved on 3 November 2021
- Next Review due November 2023