I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act. In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible. If you need any clarification then please do not hesitate to contact me. Under Section 16 it is your duty to provide advice and assistance and so I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.
I am looking for information regarding mental health issues among students, specifically:
a) Since the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, how many of the students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) who formally requested concessions from the university (i.e. submitted an Extenuating Circumstances form), cited mental health issues as their reason for the request?
b) How many of these mental health-related appeals have been deemed legitimate enough by the university/department for the concessions to be granted?
c) Which mental health issues in particular have been those most cited (e.g. anxiety, depression etc.) in the forms.
To be clear, I recognise that the sensitivity of mental health issues involves a level of confidentiality, but given that I am asking for the data and not the identities of students, I see no reason why this information can not be shared.
I request access to the information in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format, where each of the 10 full academic years show all of the Extenuating Circumstances forms submitted with those relating to mental health clearly flagged and detailed with the specific issues/illness cited.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Further to your recent FoI request, the Schools response is provided
We are unable to provide the information you requested and it would take
more than 18 hours of work to manually review the relevant documentation
relating to each case and extract the necessary information. As such, this
request is refused under the cost limit exemption specified in the Section
12 of the FoI Act.
Please note that background to this refusal is that the School does not
record Mental Health as an extenuating circumstances (EC) category. The
only categories of ECs that we record are as follows: MED: Medical
(candidate); BER: Bereavement; FAM: Other Family; PRO: Procedural Defect;
OTH: Other / Multiple. Mental Health issues would be recorded as Medical
("MED") along with many other types of medical issues.
In order to obtain more specific information we would need to manually
review every EC document that had a “MED” flag in our database, which over
the time period specified would be in excess of 4370 records.
If you think that the information provided does not meet your request,
contact Rachael Maguire on 020 7849 4622 or write to Louise Nadal, School
Secretary, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton
Street, London, WC2A 2AE. We will then review the response to your request
and get back to you within 20 working days. You can also contact the
Information Commissioner's Office http://www.ico.gov.uk/, though they
expect the internal review to be carried out before receiving a complaint
The provision of information by the LSE under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 does not imply a right to copy, reproduce publish or otherwise
use such information. Copying or reproducing such information in any way
either in whole or in part without prior written consent may be an
infringement of copyright or other intellectual property right belonging
to the LSE or a third party.
Dr Paul R. Duller
Data Protection Officer (Interim)
The London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street | London | WC2A 2AE
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