Details of public consultations on the Sevenoaks annexe

The request was partially successful.

Dear Weald of Kent Grammar School,

Please send me the dates and timelines, plus responses to consultations carried out to seek views on the expansion of your school in Sevenoaks.

I would like details of the consultation results from:

Parents of children who attend the academy.
Parents in the area.
Primary, secondary special schools and sixth form and FE colleges in the area.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Devo Mrs P, Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Joanne

Thank you for your email.

I acknowledge your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Assuming we hold this information, I will endeavour to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later than 29/02/2016 (20 working days from date of receipt).

I will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information or if there are exemptions to be considered and / or any costs for providing the information.

Kind regards
Philippa

Philippa Devo
Assistant Business Manager
Weald of Kent Grammar School, Tudeley Lane, Tonbridge, Kent   TN9 2JP
Tel: 01732 373508 Fax: 01732 770536

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

I refer to your freedom of information request to Weald of Kent Grammar School of 24 January.

The school was closed for half term for all of last week. I shall accordingly reply to your request on behalf of the school by the end of this week, 26 February.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Bartley,

 

Further to your freedom of information request of 24 January, I attach a
response on behalf of the Weald of Kent Grammar School.

 

This is the same as the response from Kent County Council on 22 February
to a similar request as, in this case, the Council and the School both
hold the same information.

 

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor

Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ

E:         [1][email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      [2]www.kent.gov.uk/legal

 

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Dear Mr.Honeyman,

Thank you for your response, however as you responded to an earlier request to Kent County Council, you might have noticed that this was worded differently - asking for 'results', and also referring to the school's consultations, as this is not a council maintained school but an academy, the school themselves have their own requirements to consult on any changes.

The school's consultation requirements are outlined by the Department for Education in documents listing 'requirements for making significant changes to an existing academy.' See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

I also note that you sent documents relating only to consultations in 2013, when the proposal for Sevenoaks was for a co-educational grammar school annexe in the town. However the school plan going ahead in Sevenoaks is a different option, a girls annexe and sixth form, and this is the consultation plan I am seeking.

It is clear from the school's archived web pages and newsletters that this the documents you sent are incomplete information, and missing dates, details and results of later consultations. Specifically a consultation in September 2014.

I am seeking to find the consultation on the actual plan now progressing, a girls only expansion with a co-educational sixth form in Sevenoaks. The two consultations I am missing are from 2014. The first in Feb 2014 which was mentioned briefly, but specifically the September 2014 consultation which you did not detail at all.

So please could you, or the school, look again at this, and provide the missing 2014 information, and in light of the requirements in the DfE guidelines (page 12) give:

a) Details of each 2014 plan put forward for consultation.
b) The start and end dates of the consultations put forward, to each of the stakeholders listed in the DfE guidance.
c) The results of the consultation, by stakeholder sector. Eg. Parents at the school, parents of other schools, leadership of other schools in the area.

As this is a decision followed with interest by many in Kent and nationally, I would expect the school and KCC to follow the DfE's guidance fully in this case.

Thank you for your attention.

Best regards,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

Thank you for your email of 26 February.

I shall take further instructions and revert to you as soon as I can.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

Analysis of September 2014 Responses

In response to the consultation on whether to open an Annexe of Weald of Kent in its present format in Sevenoaks the views of parents and staff showed that:

• 67.2% of respondents support the view that Weald of Kent Grammar School Trust should offer more local provision

• 63.6% agree that Weald of Kent in its present structure should offer additional Grammar places in Sevenoaks

• 63.6% support the Weald of Kent Grammar School Trust proposal to open an Annexe in Sevenoaks.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Governance and Law
Kent County Council, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ
E: [email address]
T: 03000 416265
F: 03000 420042
W:   www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Follow us on Twitter
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Dear Mr.Honeyman and Weald of Kent Grammar School,

Thank you for the reply. Could you just clarify some points that were missed, and then this can be closed. :)

1) The dates of this consultation. (Was it Sep 10 - 22nd 2014?)
2) How many responses were given?
3) Was this the only consultation (parents/teachers) and therefore, does this mean I have now been provided with details of ALL the school's consultations on expansion to date?
4) If you can also provided 'comments' without the names of those commenting (of course) this would be appreciated, but is a preference not a need.

Thank you again for the help.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

I am out of the office until 31 March 2016. For any matter that needs to
be dealt with in my absence, please contact my secretary
[email address] in the first instance.

Dear Weald of Kent Grammar School,

I received an 'Out of Office' message, I believe Mr.Honeyman is away so I am trying again to this address!

Thank you for the reply. Could you just clarify some points that
were missed, and then this can be closed. :)

1) The dates of this consultation. (Was it Sep 10 - 22nd 2014?)
2) How many responses were given?
3) Was this the only consultation (parents/teachers) and therefore,
does this mean I have now been provided with details of ALL the
school's consultations on expansion to date?
4) If you can also provided 'comments' without the names of those
commenting (of course) this would be appreciated, but is a
preference not a need.

Thank you again for the help.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

school, Weald of Kent Grammar School

Good afternoon,
Thank you for your message. I understand that the request is now with a colleague of Mr Honeyman who will respond accordingly.
Kind regards,
Mrs Marié (reception)

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley

I apologise for the delay in acknowledging your further mail. My colleague Michael Honeyman returns to the office this week and the simplest way of responding is probably for him to look into these questions as he liaised with the school initially on the matters covered by your request.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Waterworth
Senior Solicitor (Employment and Education)
Kent Legal Services Kent County Council County Hall Maidstone ME14 1XQ   DX123693 Maidstone 6 

E:  [email address]
T:  03000 416812
F: 03000 420042
M:  07710 339761
W: www.kent.gov.uk/legal

25425 / 03116048

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

Thank you for your email of 11 March. You will have been aware from my out of office that I have been away for a few weeks, and the school has been closed for half term. I am seeking instructions on the points you have raised and will respond to you as soon as I can after the school reopens next week.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Dear Mr.Honeyman,

Thank you, and I hope you had a good break away from the office.

Is there any progress with obtaining the remaining information?

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

Please accept my apologies for the further delay in responding to you.

I have contacted the school again to today for instructions, and shall provide you with a substantive reply as soon as I receive them.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Dear Mr.Honeyman,

I made this request on 24 January 2016, and under all circumstances and by law should have received a reply withing 20 working days. I do think the school must have the information requested, and would appreciate a reply before the end of the month.

I have not requested an internal review or complained to the ICO about this delay because you have kept me updated as to the progress throughout, so I hope the school will provide the information in the next week as I have asked.

Thank you for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

 

I write in reply to your email of 11 March in which you requested further
information.

 

Formal consultation which included each of the stakeholders in the DfE
guidance took place in 2013.

 

Since this bid was rejected on account of the Tonbridge site not being
co-ed, the school asked parents in March 2014 if being co-ed was something
they wanted to consider. parents and staff received letters on  7 March
2014. They were asked to respond by 21 March 2014.  The majority did not
support the proposal.

 

In September 2014 the school asked parents and staff whether they
supported expansion in the school's current structure into Sevenoaks i.e.
11-16 girls with a co-educational Sixth Form. The majority did.

 

The school wrote to parents and staff on 8 September 2014 as a means of
checking that they were still supportive of the proposal to develop a
Weald of Kent Academy Trust Annexe in Sevenoaks, Kent.  The school asked
them to reply to the letter by 22 September. Out of courtesy, the school
notified their various KCC, DfE contacts and local Primary and Secondary
School partners that they were gathering staff parental views.

 

See Grid below but views were from Parents and Staff only. 

 

% % % %
Staff Staff Total Staff Total Parent Parent Total Parent Total
Replies yes Y no N Replies yes Y no N
Support
more local
provision 23 22 96% 1 4% 106 64 60% 42 40%
Additional
places in
S'oaks
(present
structure)   21 91% 1     54 51% 51 48%
Support
proposal
for WoK to
open
annexe   21 91% 1     59 56% 46 43%

 

Comments from the respondents have not been provided.

 

The three consultations referred to above were the only consultations
carried out by the school.

 

Kind regards,

 

Michael Honeyman

Solicitor

Governance and Law

Kent County Council, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ

E: [email address]

T: 03000 416265

F: 03000 420042

W:   [1]www.kent.gov.uk/legal

Follow us on [2]Twitter

 

 

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Dear Mr.Honeyman,

Thank you for providing the remaining information, unfortunately the table is not readable in the form it is posted, it looks like it may have been pasted from an Excel? Would you be able to send the data as an attachment so I can see the information properly?

Thank you for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Joanne Bartley

Dear Mr.Honeyman,

As well as providing the information from the September 2014 consultation in a readible format, we have another need, as it has become clear that the information from the consultation in July 2013 that you provided was not accurate.

From Sevenoaksgrammar.com in 2013 a blog post mentions there are 4 consultation questions:

http://www.wealdofkent.kent.sch.uk/index...
We recommend that you should vote “yes” to question 3, and vote “no” to question 4.

But the information you gave was for just one question, as follows.

Do you agree with Kent County Council’s assessment that there is a need to commission selective education provision in Sevenoaks via an Annexe to an existing Grammar School?

We would like to see all the consultation questions used by the school, and the number of responses and full results.

We also have a document outlining the Weald of Kent's proposal in more detail, retrieved from the same website, which was not provided by the school to us in reply to this FOI.

Weald has announced a public consultation, and has published details of its plan in the documents below:-
Letter to Michael Gove
Weald Proposal Document – 19th June
http://www.wealdofkent.kent.sch.uk/index...

We have the proposal now, but it is disappointing that it was not given to us by the school.

I hope that we can get the remaining information in good time, as this FOI is now very overdue.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Bartley,

I am sorry the table in my email of 28 April did not display properly. I attach a PDF copy.

Could you please forward me the blog post and the document outlining the proposal in more detail that you mention, as I am not able to locate these from the information in your email. I shall then ask the school for their instructions in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal

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Joanne Bartley

Dear Mr, Honeyman,

Thank you for the response and the PDF, that works better. :)

I could not find a way to add an attachment so I put the details you need in the file here.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5AvXr...

As you'll see there was a blog post detailing the Weald of Kent consultation in 2013 and it mentions 4 questions in the consultation by the school. I'd like to know what the questions were, the number of replies, and the results. I suppose it's possible there were more than 4 questions, the wording is not clear, but basically all the results from the consultation at that time.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Joanne Bartley

Dear Weald of Kent Grammar School,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Weald of Kent Grammar School's handling of my FOI request 'Details of public consultations on the Sevenoaks annexe'.

I do not want this to delay the delivery of the information still outstanding, but I wish to request an internal review of this FOI request. I feel the school has been asked for some facts and information that it must hold, but it appears not to have passed on full information to the lawyer acting to provide answers, and the delay in providing information has been unacceptable.

I would like the internal review to consider:

1) Why the results provided for the July 2013 consultation provided details and results for only one consultation question, when clearly 4 or more questions were asked in this consultation. I was not given the full information.

2) Why the figure of '63.6% support the Weald of Kent Grammar School Trust proposal to open an Annexe in Sevenoaks', was given, without numbers or a break down of respondents into parents and teachers. It seems the true results were that teachers were 95% in support with 22 responding, parents were 55% in support with 106 responding.

3) Why the disclosure documents did not contain: APPENDIX 1 Proposal to Develop a Grammar School Annex in Sevenoaks, which included Background to Increased Provision, Balancing Provision, Conclusions and Recommendations that were presented to parents and teachers as part of the 2013 consultation.,

4) Why it has taken so long to get the information. This request was submitted on Jan 24th and it is now May 6th and the information has still not been provided in full.

My daughter's school held a consultation about changing the length of the school day in the months while this request has been running. Shortly afterwards the school published the consultation results so parents could see them. No FOI was needed, and I feel many schools show good transparency about consultation results.

I hope that the remaining information will be provided as soon as possible.

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

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

school, Weald of Kent Grammar School

Good morning,
Your message has been passed on.
Kind regards,
Mrs Marié (reception)

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Bartley,

I attach the consultation response form from July 2013 containing the four questions you refer to.

The school is attempting to locate details of the response, and I will write to you again as soon as I hear from them.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 
Dear Mr, Honeyman,

Thank you for the response and the PDF, that works better. :)

I could not find a way to add an attachment so I put the details you need in the file here.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5AvXr...

As you'll see there was a blog post detailing the Weald of Kent consultation in 2013 and it mentions 4 questions in the consultation by the school. I'd like to know what the questions were, the number of replies, and the results. I suppose it's possible there were more than 4 questions, the wording is not clear, but basically all the results from the consultation at that time.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

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Dear Mr.Honeyman,

Thank you. I see that the school has provided the results for the first 3 questions of the consultation, and would appreciate it if they could locate the results for question 4.

4. Do you support the Weald of Kent Grammar School Trust proposal to open an Annexe in Sevenoaks?

Yes No

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Bartley,

Further to my email of 11 May, below, I attach the results of the July 2013 consultation which have been provided to me by the school.

The school does not hold a record of the responses to question 4.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives

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Dear Mr.Honeyman,

Thank you for the information, and I am disappointed the school states it 'does not hold a record of responses to question 4.'

I was checking the academy trusts duties for recording information, and note the Certificate of Incorporation for Weald of Kent Grammar School Academy trust, states that:

121 Subject to Article 122, the Governors shall ensure that a copy of

a) the agenda for every meeting of the Governors,
b) the draft minutes of every such meeting, if they have been approved by the person acting as chairman of that meeting,
c) the signed minutes of every such meeting, and
d) any report, document or other paper considered at any such meeting,

are made available to persons wishing to inspect them. Then there are sensible rules about removing personal information regarding pupils and teachers.

As I feel sure that the trust's governors must have looked at all the results of the consultation and discussed them. Could you check the meetings of the governors in the months following the consultation in July 2013 and locate the minutes of the meeting where the consultation was discussed?

I am sorry if this is troublesome, but it feels very odd that the other 3 questions have results recorded and not question 4 which relates the most closely to the Weald of Kent school's plan. I feel sure the governors must have been told the results of something of such importance, and if you send the minutes of the meeting where they were shown this will clarify this.

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joanne

Dear Mr.Honeyman,

Can you confirm a couple of things please.

1) Does the school hold the result of the July 2013 consultation question 4?

4. Do you support the Weald of Kent Grammar School Trust proposal to open an Annexe in Sevenoaks?

I understand from correspondence of May 25, that both KCC press office and the DfE state that this 2013 consultation was used in the business case proposal to support the annexe submitted to the Secretary for State, I would expect it to be recorded there. Also I feel sure this result must have been shared with school governors.

2) Was my request for an internal review of this FOI request noted?

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

I write further to your email of 13 June.

I confirm that an internal review of your FOI request is being undertaken and you will receive the results of the review shortly.

Your indication that you feel the proposal contains information that should be revealed in the public interest will be treated as a new FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

Thank you for your email of 10 June. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

Information from the 2013 consultation was included in the Proposal to Develop a Weald of Kent Annexe in Sevenoaks. The information included in the Proposal was that contained in the attachment to my email to you of 26 February.

We have checked the minutes of governors meetings from the date of the conclusion of the consultation to 25 March 2014. There is only one reference to the response to the consultation, and I quote from the minutes of an Extra Governing Body Meeting on 24 July 2014, following the draft proposal being handed out: "Claire Songhurst asked what the response was to the consultation and MJ said these were in the proposal."

So the response to question 4 was not recorded either in the Proposal or in the minutes of the governors meeting.

The statistics used in the proposal in respect of the question “Do you agree with KCC’s assessment that there is a need to commission selective education provision in Sevenoaks via an Annexe to an existing Grammar School? ”reflected the respondents opinion on the need to form a grammar school annexe regardless of who provided this facility.

In 2013 there were 2 schools consulting on this question, Invicta Grammar School and Weald of Kent. In the Weald of Kent consultation, 1026 responses were received and 96% of these were in favour of the additional provision. Both institutions had supporters. The responses received by Weald of Kent included returns from those who supported Invicta providing the facility. This statistical detail was not relevant to the business case and therefore was not used in the proposal, as the overwhelming support for the principle of an annexe was clear.

I can confirm that your request for an internal review has been duly noted.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley

 

I apologise for the delay in carrying out this review, the School notified
us as soon as it was received, but unfortunately it was temporarily
misplaced.

 

You asked me as the reviewer to consider four additional questions, which
I answer as follows-

 

Q1) Why the results provided for the July 2013 consultation provided
details and results for only one consultation question, when clearly 4 or
more questions were asked in this consultation. I was not given the full
information.

 

A. The information from the consultation was used to inform the 2013
proposal submitted to the DFE and was shared with the Full Governing Body.

 

The statistics used in the proposal in respect of the question “Do you
agree with KCC’s assessment that there is a need to commission selective
education provision in Sevenoaks via an Annexe to an existing Grammar
School? ” reflected the respondents opinion on the need to form a grammar
school annexe regardless of who provided this facility.

 

In 2013 there were 2 schools consulting on this question, Invicta Grammar
School and Weald of Kent. In the Weald of Kent consultation, 1026
responses were received and 96% of these were in favour of the additional
provision.  Both institutions had supporters. The responses received by
Weald of Kent included returns from those who supported Invicta providing
the facility. This statistical detail was not relevant to the business
case and therefore was not used in the proposal, as the overwhelming
support for the principle of an annexe was clear.

 

There is no further information to give you.

 

Q2) Why the figure of '63.6% support the Weald of Kent Grammar School
Trust proposal to open an Annexe in Sevenoaks', was given, without numbers
or a break down of respondents into  parents and teachers. It seems the
true results were that teachers were 95% in support with 22 responding,
parents were 55% in support with 106 responding.

 

A. It is unclear to me and to the School about which part of the
consultation process you are referring.  If you wish to take this matter
further, please make a separate Freedom of Information Act request
explaining the same. 

 

Q3) Why the disclosure documents did not contain: APPENDIX 1 Proposal to
Develop a Grammar School Annex in Sevenoaks, which included Background to
Increased Provision, Balancing Provision, Conclusions and Recommendations
that were presented to parents and teachers as part of the 2013
consultation.,

 

A. Appendix 1 contains letters of support, we do not consider these to be
relevant to your request. If, however, you would like to see these please
make a separate Freedom of Information Act request and we will consider
whether it would be appropriate to disclose those documents

 

Q4) Why it has taken so long to get the information. This request was
submitted on Jan 24th and it is now May 6th and the information has still
not been provided in full.

 

A. Please see the answers to Q1, Q2 and Q3.  Otherwise, it is not clear to
the School or to me what information you think is missing.

 

Given the above, I can find no error in the response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied following this internal review, you can appeal
to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the Data
Protection Act 1998 and with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Details
of what you need to do, should you wish to pursue this course of action,
are available from the Information Commissioner’s website
http://ico.org.uk/concerns.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mark Radford

 

Litigation & Social Welfare

Kent Legal Services  Kent County Council County Hall  Maidstone  Kent 
ME14 1XQ DX123693 Maidstone 6

E: [1][email address]

T: 03000 416592

F: 03000 420042

W. [2]www.kent.gov.uk/legal

 

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Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives

 

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Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

I refer to your email of 13 June 2016.

You wrote to request an internal review of Weald of Kent Grammar School's handling of your FOI request 'Plans for administration of the Weald of Kent grammar school using an annexe in Sevenoaks'. You will receive a response to this by separate correspondence.

You asked for the business case proposal presented to the DfE on the grounds that it contains information that should be revealed in the public interest.

I can confirm that the School does hold information falling within the scope of your request.

The School’s view is that this document is exempt from disclosure under section 22 of the FOIA. All significant aspects of the annexe will be the subject of full publicity in due course given the publication and consultation requirements that the School will be under and which will apply to the annexe. It is the School’s view is that it is not in the public interest to disclose at this stage incomplete information when there will be full information available for public comment in due course.

Further, having sought the opinion of the School’s qualified person (the Chair of Governors), the School’s view is that the proposal is exempt from disclosure under section 36(2) of the FOIA as disclosure would prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs. Disclosure would undermine the scope for future free and frank exchanges of views and the scope for public authorities to cooperate together with candour. Were disclosure considered likely in such circumstances, the quality of advice and decision making would suffer. Further work involving cooperation between the School, KCC and the DfE is envisaged and required in relation to the proposal.

A safe space in order to develop ideas, debate live issues and reach decisions away from external interference and distractions is needed and promotes effective decision making. The School recognises the public interest in disclosure of the requested material. Given the continuing work on this project, the public interest in ensuring that cooperation and decision making is as effective as possible and the belief that disclosure would seriously undermine this, the School’s opinion is that the public interest in maintaining the exemption is greater that the public interest in disclosure. The School will monitor its application of this exemption and when circumstances change such that effective dialogue and decision making would not be undermined by disclosure, further disclosure will be made.

Further information which may be relevant to your request is available at this link http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council....

If you are unhappy with this response, you may request an internal review.

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the Information Commissioner’s website http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

show quoted sections

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

Further to my email yesterday, I am given to understand the internal review of Weald of Kent Grammar School's handling of your FOI request 'Plans for administration of the Weald of Kent grammar school using an annexe in Sevenoaks' has been completed and you have been provided with the outcome.

Two further requests for information remain outstanding - relating to DfE advice and governors minutes - and I shall provide the school's response to these within the next week.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

show quoted sections

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

I write further to your Freedom of Information request dated 23 June, below, and your further request relating to governors minutes. Both of these should have received a response by today, however I am obliged to apologise for a slight delay, which is entirely due to my tardiness in dealing with it. I am out of the office all day tomorrow, but will give my best efforts to provide full responses to both early next week and hopefully on Monday.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal

show quoted sections

Weald of Kent Grammar School

Dear Ms Bartley,

I refer to your freedom of information request dated 23 June 2016, requesting information relating to advice from the DfE referred to in a press statement dated 25 May.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing this response, which is due to my tardiness rather than that of anyone at the school.

The wording in the press release is inaccurate. There was a telephone conversation between the headteacher and an employee of the EFA on 22 July 2014, but no advice was provided. The only record of this conversation is an Outlook diary entry to diarise the telephone call.

Kind regards,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor
Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ
E:         [email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      www.kent.gov.uk/legal
Let our knowledge help you transform people's lives
 

show quoted sections

Thank you Mr.Honeyman,

I will close the FOI relating to advice on consultation. I appreciate you checking.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

Weald of Kent Grammar School

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Bartley,

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 23 June 2016, addressed
to Weald of Kent Grammar School and headed “Reporting of July 2013
consultation results to school governors”. You asked for the minutes and
any relevant reports from the first governors meeting to be held in the
months following the July 2013 consultation or, if the minutes or reports
from this meeting do not hold the consultation results, the minutes from
the meeting where the consultation was discussed.

 

I attach the minutes from the meeting of 24 July 2013, where the
consultation was discussed. 

 

Certain passages within the minutes have been redacted. Having sought the
opinion of the School’s qualified person (the Chair of Governors), the
School’s view is that these passages are exempt from disclosure under
section 36(2) of the FOIA as disclosure would prejudice the effective
conduct of public affairs. Disclosure would undermine the scope for future
free and frank exchanges of views and the scope for public authorities to
cooperate together with candour. Were disclosure considered likely in such
circumstances, the quality of advice and decision making would suffer. 
Further work involving cooperation between the School, KCC and the DfE is
envisaged and required in relation to the proposal.

 

A safe space in order to develop ideas, debate live issues and reach
decisions away from external interference and distractions is needed and
promotes effective decision making. The School recognises the public
interest in disclosure of the requested material. Given the continuing
work on this project, the public interest in ensuring that cooperation and
decision making is as effective as possible and the belief that disclosure
would seriously undermine this, the School’s opinion is that the public
interest in maintaining the exemption is greater that the public interest
in disclosure. The School will monitor its application of this exemption
and when circumstances change such that effective dialogue and decision
making would not be undermined by disclosure, further disclosure will be
made.

 

The redacted passages do not relate to the results of the consultation.

 

You will see that on the first page of the minutes there is a record of a
discussion which identified five areas where a potential challenge could
be made including “The” maladministration by KCC.   I would clarify that
this was simply a suggestion as to what forms challenge might take, and
that no actual maladministration was being referred to.

 

If you are unhappy with this response, you may request an internal review.

 

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can
appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should
you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the
Information Commissioner’s website [1]http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns.

 

Yours sincerely,

Michael Honeyman
Solicitor

Kent County Council   County Hall   Maidstone   ME14 1XQ

E:         [2][email address]
T:        03000 416265
M:        07724 873966
W:      [3]www.kent.gov.uk/legal

 

25425 / 03484087

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns
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3. http://www.kent.gov.uk/legal

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