Detail and characteristics of RFID use in West Cheshire College

The request was partially successful.

Dear West Cheshire College,

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

1) Please could West Cheshire college confirm if the below details* are correct and that these are the characteristics of RFID tags the students use:

* Ultra wideband RFID tags emit brief radio frequency signals across the entire 6.35 to 6.75 GHz frequency band.

* Average battery lifespan of a RFID tag is seven years.

* Receivers, which can receive tag signals from up to 328 feet away, are located throughout the campus buildings, in order to ensure that the tags can be pinpointed no matter where within the school a student might be located.

* RFID tags provides accuracy within 1 meter (3.3 feet).

* RFID Tag transmission rate of once per second.

* West Cheshire College uses RFID with a real time location system.

* The real time location system enables observation of student and staff in peer groups.

If any the RFID detail above is not correct please could you advise accordingly how the RFID used differs with the above points.

2) Please could West Cheshire College please advise how the students carry or wear the RFID? i.e Lanyard, card in wallet, etc.

3) Please could West Cheshire College confirm if the following is correct:
West Cheshire College deployed RFID technology in two phases — first at its Chester Campus, in 2010, and then at its newly built Ellesmere Port Campus in 2011*

4) Please could West Cheshire College confirm the IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, standard of the RFID that has been used from 2010 to present.

* As reported in the RFID Journal - "West Cheshire College Tracks Whereabouts of Students, Staff" 30th April 2012 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/...

If you need further clarification, please contact me by email. My preferred format to receive the information is electronically, but I can accept hard copies.

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 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

Arrowsmith, Ann-Marie, West Cheshire College

Dear Ms King

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST – Refusal Notice (FOI Question 1 & 3)

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act (2000) request dated 3rd January 2013, which I received on the 4th January 2013 (detailed below) to West Cheshire College. We have considered the content of your request and have issued a refusal under Section 14 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) to questions 1 and 3. We have provided a response to your questions 2 and 4 below.

Under section 14(2), public authorities do not have to comply with repeated requests for the same information from the same person. In reaching a judgement, we have found that your request for information in questions 1 and 3 were a repeated request to the one submitted to the College on 23rd November 2012. In particular, you have already requested from the College the detail and format for the RFID technology, which was responded to. The College holds no further technical details and would refer you back to the manufacture Zebra Technologies UK for details of their specifications.

Where a public authority has previously complied with a request for information which was made by any person, it is not obliged to comply with a subsequent identical or substantially similar request from that person unless a reasonable interval has elapsed between compliance with the previous request and the making of the current request.

We have followed the Information Commissioners Office guidance in dealing this request. If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to appeal, please write to:

Ann-Marie Arrowsmith, Freedom of information Internal Reviews, West Cheshire College, Off Sutton Way, Ellesmere Port CH65 7BF and your complaint will be dealt with.

If you are still not satisfied following the Internal Review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

They can be contacted at:
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.
Telephone: 01625 545 700

Yours Sincerely

Dr. Ruth Jones

Quality Manager

Original request and response to questions 2 and 4.

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

1) Please could West Cheshire college confirm if the below details* are correct and that these are the characteristics of RFID tags the students use:

* Ultra wideband RFID tags emit brief radio frequency signals across the entire 6.35 to 6.75 GHz frequency band.

* Average battery lifespan of a RFID tag is seven years.

* Receivers, which can receive tag signals from up to 328 feet away, are located throughout the campus buildings, in order to ensure that the tags can be pinpointed no matter where within the school a student might be located.

* RFID tags provides accuracy within 1 meter (3.3 feet).

* RFID Tag transmission rate of once per second.

* West Cheshire College uses RFID with a real time location system.

* The real time location system enables observation of student and staff in peer groups.

If any the RFID detail above is not correct please could you advise accordingly how the RFID used differs with the above points.

2) Please could West Cheshire College please advise how the students carry or wear the RFID? i.e Lanyard, card in wallet, etc.

Response: For the period of the evaluation and test phase, the RFID tag forms part of the students lanyard.

3) Please could West Cheshire College confirm if the following is correct:

West Cheshire College deployed RFID technology in two phases — first at its Chester Campus, in 2010, and then at its newly built Ellesmere Port Campus in 2011*

4) Please could West Cheshire College confirm the IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, standard of the RFID that has been used from 2010 to present.

Response: The College does not hold any information to respond to this question.

* As reported in the RFID Journal - "West Cheshire College Tracks Whereabouts of Students, Staff" 30th April 2012 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/...

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Dear West Cheshire College,

Please pass this on to Ann-Marie Arrowsmith, Freedom of information Internal Reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of West Cheshire College's handling of my FOI request 'Detail and characteristics of RFID use in West Cheshire College'.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST – Refusal Notice (FOI Question 1 & 3)

“Under section 14(2), public authorities do not have to comply with repeated requests for the same information from the same person. In reaching a judgement, we have found that your request for information in questions 1 and 3 were a repeated request to the one submitted to the College on 23rd November 2012”.

Question 1 of 3rd January request: Please could you advise which question and your answer from 23 November (below) contains repeated technical detail that was requested on 3rd January. These details were not asked for in 23rd November request nor were offered by the college.

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, again a question which was not asked for in 23rd November nor were start dates given in your response.

Questions submitted on 3rd January - not answered:

1) Please could West Cheshire college confirm if the below details* are correct and that these are the characteristics of RFID tags the students use:
* Ultra wideband RFID tags emit brief radio frequency signals across the entire 6.35 to 6.75 GHz frequency band.
* Average battery lifespan of a RFID tag is seven years.
* Receivers, which can receive tag signals from up to 328 feet away, are located throughout the campus buildings, in order to ensure that the tags can be pinpointed no matter where within the school a student might be located.
* RFID tags provides accuracy within 1 meter (3.3 feet).
* RFID Tag transmission rate of once per second.
* West Cheshire College uses RFID with a real time location system.
* The real time location system enables observation of student and staff in peer groups.
If any the RFID detail above is not correct please could you advise accordingly how the RFID used differs with the above points
3) Please could West Cheshire College confirm if the following is correct:
West Cheshire College deployed RFID technology in two phases — first at its Chester Campus, in 2010, and then at its newly built Ellesmere Port Campus in 2011*.

Questions and Answers given for 23rd November request:

1) Does West Cheshire College or any associated campuses use radio
frequency identification (RFID) tags with students.
A: We introduced RFID on a trial basis to assess how the technology could be
used for automatic registration of of students and to improve the
efficiency of the building.
2) What are these RFID tags used for? Please detail the
applications. I.e. attendance, cafeteria, libraries, etc.
A: 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).
3) How many students carry RFID tags.
A: All full-time students (2000) were issued with RFID tags as part of the
trial.
4) Please provide any literature given to students informing them
of RFID tags use within the college and its campuses.
A: Information relating to the RFID tags and their purpose was covered during
College induction/ enrolment.

In your refusal you state that “In particular, you have already requested from the College the detail and format for the RFID technology, which was responded to.” As I have requested above please could you advise where the “detail” and “format”, i.e. the repeat of the information I have asked for on 3rd January, is to be found in your response to my Freedom of Information request 23rd November.

Please advise how long this internal review shall take and please advise how long the internal review shall take with regards to your refusal to answer my Freedom of Information request of 10th December.

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

Yours faithfully,

Pippa King

Arrowsmith, Ann-Marie, West Cheshire College

Good morning Ms King

Please allow 20 working days for the internal review to take place.

Kind regards
Ann-Marie Arrowsmith

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Pippa King left an annotation ()

Reply due back 4th March 2013

Arrowsmith, Ann-Marie, West Cheshire College

Dear Ms King,

Internal Review – Freedom of Information request from 3rd January 2013

Thank you for your email dated 2nd February 2013 where you have requested an internal review of the response to your Freedom of Information request dated 3rd January 2013.

In this response you were issued with a refusal notice under Section 14(2) for parts 1 and 3 of your request. However, a senior manager has reviewed the content of your request and has now provided a response to your questions as below.

If you are dissatisfied with this response, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

They can be contacted at:
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.
Telephone: 01625 545 700

Yours Sincerely

Ann-Marie Arrowsmith

1) Please could West Cheshire college confirm if the below details* are correct and that these are the characteristics of RFID tags the students use:
* Ultra wideband RFID tags emit brief radio frequency signals across the entire 6.35 to 6.75 GHz frequency band.
* Average battery lifespan of a RFID tag is seven years.
* Receivers, which can receive tag signals from up to 328 feet away, are located throughout the campus buildings, in order to ensure that the tags can be pinpointed no matter where within the school a student might be located.
* RFID tags provides accuracy within 1 meter (3.3 feet).
* RFID Tag transmission rate of once per second.
* West Cheshire College uses RFID with a real time location system.
* The real time location system enables observation of student and staff in peer groups.
If any the RFID detail above is not correct please could you advise accordingly how the RFID used differs with the above points

As the trial has now concluded, all RFID tags issued to learners are inactive and have been recalled. We would also direct you to Zebra Technologies should you wish for them to confirm the technical details of RFID tags as the College holds no literature to respond to you with.

3) Please could West Cheshire College confirm if the following is correct:
West Cheshire College deployed RFID technology in two phases — first at its Chester Campus, in 2010, and then at its newly built Ellesmere Port Campus in 2011*.

As the trial has now concluded, all RFID tags issued to learners are inactive and have been recalled.

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Dear Ann-Marie Arrowsmith,

Thank you for your response to the Freedom of information request.

1) Thank you for the information that West Cheshire College holds no literature to respond. It will be presumed sufficient to look to the information about the characteristics, as in the original request, of the ultra wideband RFID West Cheshire College has been using as detailed in the RFID Journal’s article which featured the college’s RFID real time location system, unless the college states otherwise. Unfortunately the article can no longer be found on the RFID Journal’s website but can be found here: http://rfidinschools.files.wordpress.com...

3) Q: Please could West Cheshire College confirm if the following is correct:
West Cheshire College deployed RFID technology in two phases — first at its Chester Campus, in 2010, and then at its newly built Ellesmere Port Campus in 2011*. (as reported in the above RFID Journal’s article)

A: As the trial has now concluded, all RFID tags issued to learners are inactive and have been recalled.

The answer you provided did not answer the question asked but I thank you for your information that the trial has concluded. Further communication regarding the answer to this question will be had with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Yours sincerely,

Pippa King

Pippa King left an annotation ()

A complaint was made to the Information Commissioner's Office 4th March 2013 with regards to West College's handling of this Freedom of Information request.

Pippa King left an annotation ()

A complaint was made to the Information Commissioner's Office 4th March 2013 with regards to West Cheshire College's handling of this Freedom of Information request.

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