Freedom of Information Policy

This policy is presented in HTML to support accessibility needs and to work across multiple platforms. A full PDF copy is also available below.
Date Approved - December 2021
Approved By - CLF Board
Review Frequency - Every 3 years
Date of Next Review - December 2024
Full PDF Policy

History of Recent Policy Changes

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Origin of Change

Contents

Policy Statement

The Cabot Learning Federation is fully committed to complying with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The aim of the Freedom of Information Act is to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public authorities by providing people with rights of access to the information held by them. These rights will facilitate better understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.
It is a requirement of the Act that the federation operates a Publication Scheme which must be approved by the Information Commissioner.  The federation has adopted a model Publication Scheme which has been approved by the Commissioner.

Equalities Impact Assessment

An Equalities Impact Assessment has been carried out.  The assessment concluded that there was no adverse impact identified for any groups of people with protected characteristics.
Reference to other relevant policies
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Data Protection Policy and the Records Retention Policy.

Legislation or non-statutory guidance

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) provides individuals with a general right of access to recorded information held by Public Authorities. The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“the Regulations”) provide a right of access to Environmental Information held by Public Authorities.
Guidance regarding the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations is published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (https://ico.org.uk).

Roles and Responsibilities

Board
The Board are responsible for approving this policy.
Academy Council
The Academy Council are responsible for the monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of this policy.
Principal
The Principal is responsible for the implementation and oversight of this policy.
Operations Manager
The Operations Manager is responsible for managing the academy process for collating information in a timely manner under the direction of the Corporate Services Team.
Corporate Services Team
The Corporate Services Assistant is responsible for managing the Freedom of Information process.

Data Protection Implications

This policy should be read in conjunction with the CLF Data Protection Policy. The Freedom of Information Act does not give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves). The right of access to personal data is provided by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and this is detailed in the CLF Data Protection policy.

The Publication Scheme

The scheme provides information on the following:
Who we are and what we do
What we spend and how we spend it
What our priorities are and how we are doing
Howe we make decision
Our policies and procedures
Lists and Registers
The services we offer
The information is published on the federation website in various formats and is also available in hard copy where indicated in the publication scheme.
The publication scheme adopted by the federation is included at Appendix 1.

Requests for Information

Information held by the Federation that is not listed in the publication scheme can be requested in writing and will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.   Please mark all such requests clearly with the words Freedom of Information Request.  Following receipt of a valid request under the Act or regulations, the federation will provide access to information, subject to any exemptions applying, within 20 school days or 60 working days, whichever is shorter.  A school day defined as a day where pupils are in attendance for part or all of the day. Inset days are not counted as school days.  All requests will be acknowledged within 3 days of receipt. The requestor will be advised of the date a response is due under the Act and will detail how this date is calculated. Information provided under the Act may need to be redacted to adhere to the General Data Protection Regulations.

Please address queries to:
Wendy Hellin
FOI Officer
Cabot Learning Federation
Federation House
King’s Oak Academy
Brook Road
Kingswood
Bristol
BS15 4JT
Or by email to [email protected]

Refusals

4.1      The Freedom of Information Act permits the federation to refuse to provide information where exemptions apply to the information requested.  Exemptions include requests that are commercially sensitive or are vexatious or repeated requests.  In these circumstances, the federation will outline the reasons for the refusal of information.

Fees

5.1      The Freedom of Information Act allows the federation to recover its costs for processing some elements of the request, including communication costs, photocopying, printing and postage.  If the federation intends to recover such costs a fees notice will be issued to the requestor.

Appeals

If the person making a request for information under the Act is unhappy with the response they receive, they may make a request for an Internal Review of the Handling of the Request. Internal Reviews will be carried out by the CLF Data Protection Officer.

Appendix One

Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme
Introduction

This document has been produced as a requirement of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and introduces a Model Publication Scheme in response to Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Model Publication Scheme provided by the ICO for schools and academies has been adopted by the Cabot Learning Federation with effect from April 2015.

The Model Publication Scheme provides a list of the information routinely published by academies which the ICO expects them to make available unless:

• They do not hold the information
• The information is exempt under one of the FOI exemptions or Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) exceptions, or its release is prohibited under another statute
• The information is archived, out of date or otherwise inaccessible, or, it would be
impractical or resource-intensive to prepare the material for routine release.

Guide to the Information Available from the Federation under the Publication Scheme

The table at Annex 1 details the information routinely published. Next to each category of information the manner in which the information described will be available is specified
In some circumstances for items not routinely available the Federation will estimate the cost of providing the data. This will be calculated on direct labour costs based on the time spent in researching and collecting the information which will be charged at a flat rate of £25 an hour, regardless of the actual costs per hour.
There is no obligation to disclose information if the total cost calculated in this fashion exceeds £450. This estimate is not charged to the requestor.   However, the federation may charge ten pence plus VAT per photocopy or scanned document and/or the direct cost of putting the information into other requested formats, plus postage if applicable. In certain circumstances the Federation may waive the fee at its absolute discretion.
Confirmation of any payment due will be given prior to the information being provided. Payment will generally be requested prior to the provision of the requested information.

Written Requests

Information held by the Federation that is not listed in the publication scheme can be requested in writing and will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.   Please mark all such requests clearly with the words Freedom of Information Request.

Please address queries to:
Wendy Hellin
FOI Officer
Cabot Learning Federation
Federation House
King’s Oak Academy
Brook Road
Kingswood
Bristol
BS15 4JT
Or by email to [email protected]

Contact Us

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School Road
Monkton, Heathfield
Taunton
TA2 8PD
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Registered Company: Cabot Learning Federation
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