I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following information in regards to the mental heath resources at your university.
1. How many support service staff have been employed with a mental health remit (e.g. counselling, wellbeing) in each of the last 5 academic years. If a breakdown is not available for mental health staff, please provide a total for the closest possible category.
2. Budget for mental health support for each of the last 5 academic years, and where possible a breakdown on how that money is allocated, e.g. staff, marketing, equipment etc.
3. Number of students seeking mental health support in each of the last 5 academic years.
4. Average waiting time for mental health support in each of the last 5 academic years.
5. Any internal reports or reviews relating to mental health provision over the last 5 years.
Please provide the above information digitally, preferably in the form of an excel spreadsheet.
If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under your Section 16 obligations, as to how I can refine my request to be included in the scope of the Act.
In any case, if you can identify ways that my request could be refined please provide further advice and assistance to indicate this.
I look forward to your response within 20 working days, as stipulated by the Act.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to clarify what I am asking for.
Dear Ms Card,
This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information below and to let you know it is being processed.
We'll get back to you as soon as we can, but in any case within 20 working days from 07/12/2018.
In the meantime, if you wish to add any further details or check on progress, please reply to this message, quoting reference number IMPS#02326, so that we can track your input and respond promptly.
Information Management & Policy Services (IMPS), University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH
t: +44 (0)118 378 8981 www.reading.ac.uk/foia
Dear Ms Card,
We are writing to advise you that it has been necessary to refuse this
request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
We estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate
costs limit established by section 12 of the Freedom of information Act
2000; this is currently set at £450 (or 18 hours work) by virtue of the
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004. Our estimate has considered the time it would take to
determine whether we hold the information and then to locate, retrieve and
We estimate that to determine whether we hold ‘waiting time for mental
health support’ for the time period requested, then to locate, retrieve,
and extract that information would take longer than 18 hours to complete.
The primary reason for why the appropriate limit would be exceeded, is
that the information requested in relation to support for mental health,
for the length of time specified is not recorded centrally in an easily
searchable, aggregated format. Data is held for the Wellbeing services as
In order to locate the data requested we would have to manually
interrogate records we hold for all students that have used University
Student Counselling Services, within the requested period, including
records held across legacy systems and databases, and some held in
archived paper form, to establish whether the service request was
specifically for mental health support, when the counselling service was
requested and the individual dates of their subsequent appointments. For
the time period requested this would involve manually retrieving and
searching through thousands of individual records. A conservative estimate
of 20 minutes per manual record check for student only registrations for
all counselling appointments made for 2016/17 academic year, being in
excess of over 1388, equates to over 416 hours work. This would take the
total time spent on the request over the 18 hour threshold imposed by the
appropriate limit, so in accordance with FOI this email acts as a Refusal
Separately to question four, it is likely question five would exceed the
cost limit established by section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000. This is because we estimate that to determine whether we hold
‘internal reports or reviews relating to mental health provision over the
last five academic years’ we would need to exhaustively search all
possible locations which would require a search at School and Department
level for their records. There are over 60 such Faculties, Schools and
Departments and their records are not recorded centrally in an easily
searchable, aggregated format.
We are sorry we cannot provide the requested information to you however,
under Section 16 of FOIA (duty to provide help and assistance), we have
also provided you with information in relation to the remainder of your
request which had previously been disclosed under FOI. This is below each
limb of the remainder of your request below, and we hope it is of use to
We can also advise you that if you submit a new request for reports
submitted to the Student Experience Committee relating to mental health
provision over the last 5 years we may be able to provide these within
cost limits, though these may be subject to exemptions.
You may also find information contained on the following webpage useful in
providing you with further information on the kinds of support the
University has available to its students.
We are required to include details of our complaints procedures, including
your rights to apply to the Information Commissioner. The procedure is
detailed in our Freedom of Information and Environmental Information
Regulations policy on the web at
If we are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the
Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the access to
Email: [email address]
Information Compliance Officer
Information Management & Policy Services (IMPS), University of Reading,
Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH
[University of Reading request email] t: +44 (0)118 378 8981
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