UWB RFID Real Time Locastion System at West Cheshire College

Pippa King made this Freedom of Information request to West Cheshire College

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear West Cheshire College,

Under the Freedom of Information Act please could you supply the following information within 20 working days.

1) Please advise why West Cheshire College could not provide a start date of use for the UWB RFID to myself under the Freedom of Information Act or subsequently to the Information Commissioners Office (see links below) but were able to give that information in a statement to a journalist in November 2013 "a full trial of the system was conducted from the start of the 2012/13 academic year" (see below statement to journalist Nov 2013).

Original Freedom of Information Request - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Information Commissioners Office statement after contacting West Cheshire College -

Physical Document Storage
Archived document store
West Cheshire College website search
Current Email
Archived Email from backup

..the College has provided details of the searches and
enquiries it carried out (as described above) and has reiterated that it does not hold any recorded information falling within the scope of your request.
http://rfidinschools.files.wordpress.com...

2) Please provide the "full review of the system and its usability in line with a Skills Funding Agency Project Evaluation" as mentioned in the below statement.

3) Please advise if any of the £1,050,242 spent on the UWB RFID real time location system has been refunded.

Some parts of this request may be easier to answer than others, and in such case please could you release available data as soon as possible rather than delay the entire request.

If you are not fully certain of what it is I am asking then I look forward to contact from you as soon as possible to clarify what it is I am requesting in order to meet your obligations under the law.

If the costs of processing this request exceed the limit in the Act, please advise on what information you are able to supply within the cost limit.

Yours faithfully,

Pippa King

West Cheshire College statement:

West Cheshire College strives to deliver innovative vocational education that provides students with the skills and knowledge to secure employment in the UK job market.
As part of this aim, the College undertook a state-of-the-art new build development project (2010-2012) across its two Campuses in Chester and Ellesmere Port to enhance the overall teaching and learning experience for students.
The project included the development of RFID technology as part of the new building designs. The technology was introduced with the aim of assessing how it could be used for self-marking class attendance registers, safeguarding purposes and to improve the physical management of the buildings.

The new build project was fully completed in May 2012 and subsequently a full trial of the system was conducted from the start of the 2012/13 academic year. The trial was reviewed in February 2013 and it was agreed that the technology did not enhance current systems or business operations. The College was also concerned about additional financial pressure to maintain the system in the future due to rising costs. Therefore a decision was made to cease using the technology in order to undertake a full review of the system and its usability in line with a Skills Funding Agency Project Evaluation due at the end of the year.
West Cheshire College is a leading vocational college in the North West and supports more than 20,000 learners in College and in the work place. They have more than 800 Apprentices UK-wide and was the first college in the country to establish a Jobcentre Plus co-location supporting unemployed people back into work. The College also works with more over 1000 employers and 520 people in 2012 achieved a Higher Education or professional qualification.

[November 2013]

Brown, Matthew, West Cheshire College

Dear Pippa King,

1)

The information given in the press statement is consistent with that provided under previous FOI Act responses.

On 7th December 2012 in our response to you under FOIA we stated to you:

"We are currently trialling the technology for the purposes of automatic
registration of students and to improve the efficiency of the building. We
are also trialling the technology for tracking the movement of physical
assets i.e. ipads, laptops and camera equipment. The technology is not
used for tracking of individual students. A decision as to the future use
of the technology will be made at the end of the trial period (this is
expected to be completed in March 2013)."

2)

The document referred to is the SFA's post project occupancy evaluation form, which covers all aspects of the completed capital programme, of which RFID forms only a small part.
This form is not yet due and therefore not yet completed.
I will send a copy to you upon request once this becomes available.

3)

No costs have been refunded.

Kind regards

Matthew Brown
Director of Finance
West Cheshire College
Sutton Way
Ellesmere Port
CH65 7BF

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your response. I look forward to receiving the 'SFA's post project occupancy evaluation form' when it is available.

With regards to Question 1, to clarify, I was asking 'why' the college could not answer myself of the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) when we asked for the confirmation of dates when the RFID tracking trial started, not 'when' the college started the trial. I already have that information via the statement West Chershire College made to a journalist from Nov 2013.

So I would respectfully ask again: Please advise why West Cheshire College could not provide a start date (or confirmation of dates) of use for the UWB RFID to myself under the Freedom of Information Act or subsequently to the Information Commissioners Office but were able to give that information in a statement to a journalist in November 2013?

If you are not fully certain of what it is I am asking then I look forward to contact from you as soon as possible to clarify what it is I am requesting in order to meet your obligations under the law.

Yours sincerely,

Pippa King

Brown, Matthew, West Cheshire College

Dear Pippa King,

I am unable to answer the question that you ask because I cannot see a previous FOIA request directly asking for the date the trial commenced and we have already provided information regarding the dates of the trial to you, so I am not clear as to the premise of the question.

I am sorry that I cannot reply with a more helpful answer. Please let me know if I have not fully understood what it is you are asking.

Kind regards
Matthew

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your response. As you know I repeatedly state in all correspondence to West Cheshire College that if you are unclear about anything I am asking under the Freedom of Information Act then the college should contact me. I made it clear when asking for an internal review on the 2nd February 2013 with reference to my Freedom of Information request ‘Detail and characteristics of RFID use in West Cheshire College’ dated 3rd January
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d... that this is what I required, “Question 3 of 3rd January request specifically asks for start dates when West Cheshire College commenced with the active real time location system of RFID tags tracking pupils”

No one from the college queried this statement so I was lead to believe that West Cheshire College fully understood what I was requesting.

As this is becoming tedious for myself, and I suspect for the college too, and so to save valuable time, to clarify, all I required in the previous request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d... 3 Jan) and, as stated in the related request for internal review, was the start dates of the RFID, i.e. when did the students start wearing the RFID lanyards and when did the college start using RFID tags to monitor equipment?

If you are able to answer this it would be very much appreciated or if, as the college stated to myself and the ICO, no record of this start dated exists please explain how the college was able to give a start date to a journalist as detailed earlier.

I hope you can understand that there has been conflicting start dates reported, all I wish is to know when the RFID system was effectively switched on.

Thank you for your time on this, it is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Pippa King

Dear Mr Brown,

Looking back at replies from West Cheshire College I have only received "information regarding dates" regarding the finishing dates of the trial, not starting dates:

FINISHING DATES
Monday 18th February 2013 RFID tagging students
Tuesday 29th October ceasing the RTLS RFID
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

To my knowledge West Cheshire College have never stated when the RFID system started.

Yours sincerely,

Pippa King

Brown, Matthew, West Cheshire College

Dear Pippa King,

Thank you for clarifying your request, and I will answer the questions that you have asked as follows:

Q: When did the students start wearing the RFID lanyards?

The students were issued with the zebra tags in September 2011

Q: When did the college start using RFID tags to monitor equipment?

This was roughly at the same time, September 2011.

Q: When was the RFID system effectively switched on?

The fixed infrastructure of the system was installed as part of the fit-out of the buildings during 2010 and 2011.
The zebra tags were issued in September 2011.
Trials of the self-marking of class attendance registers took place during academic year 2012/13; these precise dates are not recorded as no data was retained.
Ultimately, no data has been retained and no class attendance registers have been marked using the system.
I am unclear as to how you would define the "switched on" point as it could be defined in a number of ways, but I hope the above gives an indication of timescales.

Kind regards
Matthew Brown
Director of Finance
West Cheshire College

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your reply and information. I appreciate your time spent on this.

Yours sincerely,

Pippa King