Business plans for proposed state-funded boarding school on the site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex

Richard Wilson made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

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

The request was partially successful.

Richard Wilson

Dear Department for Education,

It has been reported that the Durand Education Trust / Durand Academy have been awarded over £17 million in funding from the Department for Education in support of the above project.

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like to request the following:

*A copy of the business plan or plans submitted to the Department for Education by the Durand Education Trust or Durand Academy in relation to the proposed state-funded boarding school at the site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex

*A copy of the project budget with detailed cost estimates relating to the scheme.

I look forward to receiving your response as soon as possible or at the latest within the 20 working days required by law. Any help with this request would be much appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Wilson

Department for Education

Dear Mr Wilson

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0049354

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0370 0002288
www.education.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Department for Education

Dear Mr Wilson,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 4th
July 2011. You requested a copy of the business plan or plans submitted
to the Department for Education by the Durand Education Trust or Durand
Academy in relation to the proposed state-funded boarding school at the
site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex and a copy of the project budget
with detailed cost estimates relating to the scheme. I have dealt with
your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act").

The Department has considered whether the public interest lies in
disclosing or withholding the information.

A copy of the information which can be disclosed is attached . The
Department are in discussion with the Durand Academy Trust about the
details and timetable for developing the full proposal and the proposal is
very much in the early stages.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

The copyright for this document may rest with a third party. For
information about obtaining permission from a third party see the
Intellectual Property Office's website at [1]www.ipo.gov.uk.

The Department holds the remainder of the information you requested, but
it is being withheld because exemptions apply.

Information you have requested has been with held under sections 40 and
43(2) of the Act. Some information is being withheld under s40(2) of the
FOI Act because release would infringe the rights of individuals under the
principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Some of the information you requested has been excluded under section
43(2) of the Act because it has the potential to damage a company's
commercial interests. There is a public interest in the transparency of
the accountability of public funds to ensure that public money is being
used effectively, and that departments are getting value for money when
purchasing goods and services. However, there is also a public interest in
ensuring that the Department and the proposers are able to maintain strong
bargaining positions during negotiations. Disclosure of certain
information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the
Department, the proposers or both by adversely affecting bargaining
positions and resulting in less effective use of public money.

The arguments for and against release have been considered and it is our
view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to this information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner's Office.
Yours sincerely,

Susan Shakespeare
Academy Converters Division
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0049354.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
blocked::http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/

Dear Susan Shakespeare,

Many thanks for your response. I'm afraid I can't see any documents attached?

Yours faithfully,

Richard Wilson

Department for Education

Dear Mr Wilson

You should have received a further email from Susan Shakespeare
explaining she has had difficulty in sending the attachment because of
its size. She requested in the email for your postal address. Could
you please reply giving this information and Susan will deal with this
tomorrow when she is back in the office.

Regards

Pam Flynn
Department for Education
Castle View House
Runcorn
Cheshire
WA7 2GJ

Tel: 0370 000 2288
www.education.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Department for Education,

I received no such email and I'm surprised that you would require my postal address in order to provide this information. I'll look into this and get back to you.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Wilson

Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson

The attachment that I needed to send with your FOI request was too large
at 15mb to be sent and delivered. I have broken it down into three
parts. Part 1 is attached and part 2 and 3 will follow.

Dear Mr Wilson,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on
4th
July 2011. You requested a copy of the business plan or plans
submitted
to the Department for Education by the Durand Education Trust or
Durand
Academy in relation to the proposed state-funded boarding school
at the
site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex and a copy of the project
budget
with detailed cost estimates relating to the scheme. I have dealt
with
your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the
Act").

The Department has considered whether the public interest lies in
disclosing or withholding the information.

A copy of the information which can be disclosed is attached . The
Department are in discussion with the Durand Academy Trust about
the
details and timetable for developing the full proposal and the
proposal is
very much in the early stages.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by
copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for
private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised
by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs)
can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes
of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

The copyright for this document may rest with a third party. For
information about obtaining permission from a third party see the
Intellectual Property Office's website at [1]www.ipo.gov.uk.

The Department holds the remainder of the information you
requested, but
it is being withheld because exemptions apply.

Information you have requested has been with held under sections
40 and
43(2) of the Act. Some information is being withheld under s40(2)
of the
FOI Act because release would infringe the rights of individuals
under the
principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Some of the information you requested has been excluded under
section
43(2) of the Act because it has the potential to damage a
company's
commercial interests. There is a public interest in the
transparency of
the accountability of public funds to ensure that public money is
being
used effectively, and that departments are getting value for money
when
purchasing goods and services. However, there is also a public
interest in
ensuring that the Department and the proposers are able to
maintain strong
bargaining positions during negotiations. Disclosure of certain
information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests
of the
Department, the proposers or both by adversely affecting
bargaining
positions and resulting in less effective use of public money.

The arguments for and against release have been considered and it
is our
view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to this information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.
Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you
should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two
calendar
months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be
considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner's
Office.
Yours sincerely,

Susan Shakespeare
Academy Converters Division
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number
2011/0049354.

show quoted sections

Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson

The attachment that I needed to send with your FOI request was too large
at 15mb to be sent and delivered. I have broken it down into three
parts. Part 1 has been sent part 2 is attached and part will follow.

Dear Mr Wilson,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on
4th
July 2011. You requested a copy of the business plan or plans
submitted
to the Department for Education by the Durand Education Trust or
Durand
Academy in relation to the proposed state-funded boarding school
at the
site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex and a copy of the project
budget
with detailed cost estimates relating to the scheme. I have dealt
with
your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the
Act").

The Department has considered whether the public interest lies in
disclosing or withholding the information.

A copy of the information which can be disclosed is attached . The
Department are in discussion with the Durand Academy Trust about
the
details and timetable for developing the full proposal and the
proposal is
very much in the early stages.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by
copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for
private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised
by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs)
can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes
of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

The copyright for this document may rest with a third party. For
information about obtaining permission from a third party see the
Intellectual Property Office's website at [1]www.ipo.gov.uk.

The Department holds the remainder of the information you
requested, but
it is being withheld because exemptions apply.

Information you have requested has been with held under sections
40 and
43(2) of the Act. Some information is being withheld under s40(2)
of the
FOI Act because release would infringe the rights of individuals
under the
principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Some of the information you requested has been excluded under
section
43(2) of the Act because it has the potential to damage a
company's
commercial interests. There is a public interest in the
transparency of
the accountability of public funds to ensure that public money is
being
used effectively, and that departments are getting value for money
when
purchasing goods and services. However, there is also a public
interest in
ensuring that the Department and the proposers are able to
maintain strong
bargaining positions during negotiations. Disclosure of certain
information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests
of the
Department, the proposers or both by adversely affecting
bargaining
positions and resulting in less effective use of public money.

The arguments for and against release have been considered and it
is our
view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to this information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.
Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you
should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two
calendar
months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be
considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner's
Office.
Yours sincerely,

Susan Shakespeare
Academy Converters Division
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number
2011/0049354.

show quoted sections

Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson

The attachment that I needed to send with your FOI request was too large
at 15mb to be sent and delivered. I have broken it down into three
parts. Parts 1 and 2 have been sent part 3 is attached.

Dear Mr Wilson,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on
4th
July 2011. You requested a copy of the business plan or plans
submitted
to the Department for Education by the Durand Education Trust or
Durand
Academy in relation to the proposed state-funded boarding school
at the
site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex and a copy of the project
budget
with detailed cost estimates relating to the scheme. I have dealt
with
your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the
Act").

The Department has considered whether the public interest lies in
disclosing or withholding the information.

A copy of the information which can be disclosed is attached . The
Department are in discussion with the Durand Academy Trust about
the
details and timetable for developing the full proposal and the
proposal is
very much in the early stages.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by
copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for
private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised
by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs)
can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes
of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

The copyright for this document may rest with a third party. For
information about obtaining permission from a third party see the
Intellectual Property Office's website at [1]www.ipo.gov.uk.

The Department holds the remainder of the information you
requested, but
it is being withheld because exemptions apply.

Information you have requested has been with held under sections
40 and
43(2) of the Act. Some information is being withheld under s40(2)
of the
FOI Act because release would infringe the rights of individuals
under the
principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Some of the information you requested has been excluded under
section
43(2) of the Act because it has the potential to damage a
company's
commercial interests. There is a public interest in the
transparency of
the accountability of public funds to ensure that public money is
being
used effectively, and that departments are getting value for money
when
purchasing goods and services. However, there is also a public
interest in
ensuring that the Department and the proposers are able to
maintain strong
bargaining positions during negotiations. Disclosure of certain
information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests
of the
Department, the proposers or both by adversely affecting
bargaining
positions and resulting in less effective use of public money.

The arguments for and against release have been considered and it
is our
view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to this information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.
Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you
should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two
calendar
months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be
considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner's
Office.
Yours sincerely,

Susan Shakespeare
Academy Converters Division

www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number
2011/0049354.

show quoted sections

Dear Department for Education,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Education's handling of my FOI request 'Business plans for proposed state-funded boarding school on the site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex'.

I requested

*A copy of the business plan or plans submitted to the Department for Education by the Durand Education Trust or Durand Academy in relation to the proposed state-funded boarding school at the site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst, Sussex

*A copy of the project budget with detailed cost estimates relating to the scheme.

The DfE has not provided details of the project budget with detailed cost estimates. Rather, they have chosen instead, after some delay, to provide a copy of the business plan with all budget details blanked out.

Given the growing controversy around the DfE's financial management of Academy schools, and given the amounts of money involved, there is a clear public interest in our being able to scrutinise the rationale behind this project.

The DfE's suggestion appears to be that in order to protect the school's bargaining position it is necessary to impose a blanket block on disclosure of the financial reasoning behind a £17.4 million funding commitment.

This simply is not credible, and flies in the face of the government's stated commitment to transparency and accountability. A sceptic might easily conclude that this has more to do with protecting the Department for Education from further embarrassment than any genuine concerns about commercial confidentiality.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bu...

Yours faithfully,

Richard Wilson

Department for Education

Dear Mr Wilson

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0056634

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0370 0002288
www.education.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Department for Education

Dear Mr Wilson,

I refer to your request dated 2 August 2011 for an FOI internal review of
the Department's handling of your request for the business plans for
proposed state-funded boarding school on the site of St Cuthman's in
Midhurst, Sussex.

The Department has now completed its internal review process and has
carried out a thorough review of the case, chaired by a senior officer who
was not involved with the original request. The Department has decided to
uphold the original decision not to disclose the information concerned,
for the same reasons set out in the letter of 29 July 2011.

If you are unhappy with this decision, you have the right to appeal
directly to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Further information about the Information Commissioner's complaints
procedure can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website:
[1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

Yours sincerely,

Susan Shakespeare
Academy Converters Division
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0056634.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/

Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson

I refer to your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO) about your request to this Department in July 2011 for a copy of the
business plan or plans submitted to the Department for Education by the
Durand Education Trust or Durand Academy in relation to the proposed
state-funded boarding school at the site of St Cuthman's in Midhurst,
Sussex and a copy of the project budget with detailed cost estimates
relating to the scheme.

The Information Commissioner’s Office considers that the information
contained within the proposal submitted by Durand falls within the
definition of environmental information under Regulation 2(1) of EIR. This
is because the information contained in the proposal would be likely to
affect the environment as the scheme involves significant building works
and landscaping. The Information Commissioner’s Office has consequently
decided that the Department should release the requested information set
out in a letter  from the ICO to the Department dated 15 May 2012. The
information is attached.

Please note the information disclosed is the first projected quotes and
costings submitted to the Department for Education in 2010. The scheme is
in development and is subject to planning permission. Cost and budget
projections have changed significantly since the development of the
initial proposal and it would be incorrect to quote these initial figures
in relation to the current scheme in procurement. In a drive to ensure the
best value for money is delivered for the school, the Department and the
public purse, budget forecasts, costs and staffing models have been
revised, particularly in the light of capital constraints. Further changes
have followed and the most up to date information with regard to Academy
funding has been incorporated into the latest forecasts. The most cost
effective architectural solutions have been employed resulting in a much
lower projected capital cost.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

Most documents produced by a government department or agency will be
protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be
re-used under the Open Government Licence
([1]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For
information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information
please see The National Archives website
-[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
.

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information
about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual
Property Office’s website at [3]www.ipo.gov.uk.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Susan Shakespeare

Academy Converters Division

 

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
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