Patricia Anderson

Dear Angus Council,

1. Please could you provide the percentage of discretionary deferral requests which the local authority has provided an extra year of early learning and childcare funding for since 2013. Please only include those children born on or after the school commencement date in August and 31 Dec who were granted an extra year of funding.

2. Please could you also provide the total number of applications for discretionary deferral funding received and the total number successful for each year since 2013. Please only include those children born on or after the school commencement date in August and 31 Dec who were granted an extra year of funding.

Yours faithfully,

Patricia Anderson

InformationGovernance, Angus Council

Dear Ms Anderson

Thank you for your information request dated 9 December 2018 (received by Angus Council on 10 December 2018).

If we are unable to provide you with a response within 20 working days, we will advise you of this in writing.

Please refer to the information below which explains your right to complain if you are unhappy with how the Council is dealing with your request.

If you have any queries, please ask for me on 01307 476261 or email [Angus Council request email]

Yours sincerely
Cath Bowman

Cath Bowman | Admin Assistant (Info Gov)| Place |Legal and Democratic| Angus Council | Angus House | Orchardbank |Forfar| DD8 1AN |Tel 01307 476261 | [email address] | [email address]

Could we have used Skype instead

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002
ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2004
INSPIRE (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2009

Your Right to Request a Review by the Council

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which Angus Council has dealt with your request for information under any of the above statutory instruments, you have a right to ask the council to review its actions and/or decisions regarding your request. If you wish to do this, you should make your request to the Service Leader – Legal & Democratic, Place Directorate, Angus Council, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar DD8 1AN or e-mail [Angus Council request email] within 40 working days.

Your request must:
be in writing (or recordable format);
give your name and address for correspondence;
give details of the information which you originally requested from the council; and
give the reasons why you are dissatisfied with the way in which your application for information has been dealt with.

Your application for review will then be considered by the council’s review panel. The review panel will write to you informing you of its decision not later than 20 working days after receipt of your request for a review. The review panel will also provide you with a statement of its reasons for arriving at the decision it has made.

Your Right to Appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner

If you are dissatisfied with a decision of the council's review panel (or where the review panel has not provided you with a response), you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request for information has been dealt with by the council in accordance with the above statutory instruments.

Your application to the Scottish Information Commissioner must:
be in a recordable format (letter, e-mail, audio tape etc);
give your name and address for correspondence.
give details of the request for information which you originally requested from the council;
give details of why you were dissatisfied with the council’s response to your original request;
give details of why you were dissatisfied with the decision of the council's review panel.

In the case of an EIR or FOI request your application to the Scottish Information Commissioner must be made within 6 months of receipt of the decision of the council’s review panel (or within 6 months of the date that the review panel should have responded). No such time limit applies under the 2009 Regulations.

Appeals to the Commissioner can be lodged online through the following hyperlink:
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR... or by contacting:

Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9BS; Telephone - 01334 464610; Fax - 01334 464611; Email - [email address]

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Dear Ms Anderson

 

Freedom of Information Request

 

Thank you for your information request dated 9 December 2018 (received by
the Council on the same day) which has been passed to me for attention.

 

You have requested the following information:

 

1. Please could you provide the percentage of discretionary deferral
requests which the local authority has provided an extra year of early
learning and childcare funding for since 2013. Please only include those
children born on or after the school commencement date in August and 31
Dec who were granted an extra year of funding.

100% of deferral requests received have been granted for years 2013 to
2018, however, data cannot be separated for birth month August - December
for years 2013 to 2016 as we do not hold this information.  We only hold
information for 2017 and 2018.   Of the 100% of deferral requests that
were granted, the percentages for birth month August to December for both
these years are:

 

2017 - 57/176 x 100 = 32.38% (of the total granted were for birth month
Aug-Dec)

2018 - 45/153 x 100 = 29.41% (of the total granted were for birth month
Aug-Dec)

 

These percentage figures have been calculated by dividing the deferral
requests for birth month for August to December by the total number of
deferral requests received (for birth month August to February).

 

2. Please could you also provide the total number of applications for
discretionary deferral funding received and the total number successful
for each year since 2013. Please only include those children born on or
after the school commencement date in August and 31 Dec who were granted
an extra year of funding.

We cannot provide figures for years 2013 to 2016.

For 2017 there were 57 applications

For 2018 there were 45 applications

 

However, all deferment applications have been successful for years 2013 to
2018.

 

 

In compiling responses to information requests we invariably use
information which is routinely published on the [1]Council’s website or
through its [2]Publication Scheme.  If you require further information
please first check that the information you want is not routinely
published as any such information is exempt from release in terms of
Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or Regulation
6(1)(b) of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

I hope that this information is of some help to you.  Please note that the
information contained in this reply is believed to be accurate as at
today’s date (unless otherwise indicated) but no warranty is given. 
Further, Angus Council does not accept liability for any loss, injury or
damage which arises from the use of the information contained in this
reply either by you or by any other party.  Please refer to the
information set out in the Appendix which explains your right to complain
if you are unhappy with how the Council has dealt with your request.

 

If calling or telephoning please ask for Jacqueline Dawson on 01307 491911
or e-mail [email address]

 

Yours sincerely

Jacqueline Dawson

Performance Information Officer

 

 

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Patricia Anderson

Dear Information Governance,

The 20 days has passed since I submitted my FoI request to Angus Council on 9 Dec 2018. Please could you conduct an internal review and respond as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Patricia Anderson

Patricia Anderson

Dear Ms Dawson,

Please accept my apologies for my previous message requesting an internal review as I have just realised you responded yesterday.

However, I don't think the percentages provided in your response were the ones I was looking for. I would like to know what percentage of requests for a funded discretionary deferral year at nursery were approved by Angus Council but I think you may have sent me the proportion of all deferral requests which were from parents of children with Aug-Dec birthdays.

Yours sincerely,

Patricia Anderson

Dear Ms Anderson

Thank you for your reply. I apologise if our interpretation of Question1 was incorrect.

We had also provided you with the Percentage of deferral requests received that had been granted for years 2013 to 2018 (100%). However, this did not specify if these were all funded places.

I have requested the information from the relevant officer for the Percentage of deferral requests received that have been granted and funded for years 2013 to 2018.

I would expect to provide you with this information early next week.
Regards
Jacqueline Dawson
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Jacqueline Dawson, Performance Information Officer, Schools and Learning, Angus Council, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AN,
Tel 01307 491911 [mobile number]

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Dear Ms Anderson

I refer to your follow up query dated 11 January 2019 regarding your recent Freedom of Information request.

We can confirm that all discretionary deferrals were granted. If a child attended a council nursery for their discretionary deferral year, the parent would not have to self-fund the place. However, if the parent chooses for their child to attend a private and voluntary partner provider for their discretionary deferral year, they would have to self-fund the place. We do not hold information regarding self-funded places and therefore cannot provide a percentage as requested. From August 2019, discretionary deferral funding will be issued to the partner provider or local authority setting of the parent's choosing.

Just for completeness, can you please confirm that you have withdrawn your request for an internal review.

Regards
Jacqueline Dawson

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Jacqueline Dawson, Performance Information Officer, Schools and Learning, Angus Council, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AN,
Tel 01307 491911 [mobile number]

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Patricia Anderson

Dear Jackie,

Thank you for your message. However, I'm a little confused by the statement, "all discretionary deferrals were granted" if the parents/carers of children in private or voluntary partner nurseries had to self-fund these places. Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, section 32 (3), parents/carers have the legal right to defer a child not age five by the school commencement date in any given year. That decision is up to them and not a local authority. The continued nursery funding, be it at a council nursery or private/voluntary partner provider, is the only thing at a Council's discretion.

1. Is my understanding correct then that Angus Council is unable to provide the data requested as you do not hold records of funding requested for continued places at private and voluntary partnership providers?

2. Is my understanding also correct that all discretionary funding requests (regardless of whether they are for a place at a council, private or voluntary nursery provider) will be provided automatically by Angus Council from now on (for children whose deferral year would start in Aug 2019)?

Yours sincerely,

Patricia Anderson

Dear Ms Anderson

I acknowledge your email dated 14 January 2019 and would expect to provide a response tomorrow 16 January 2019.

Regards
Jacqueline Dawson

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Jacqueline Dawson, Performance Information Officer, Schools and Learning, Angus Council, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AN,
Tel 01307 491911

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Dear Ms Anderson
 
I apologise for any confusion caused by our last response.  Please see the
information below which I hope will help to clarify these points for you.
 
1. Is my understanding correct then that Angus Council is unable to
provide the data requested as you do not hold records of funding requested
for continued places at private and voluntary partnership providers?
 
For years 2013 to 2016, we do not hold information in an easily
extractible format.  Where Angus Council did not agree to fund a request
we do not hold this information. In order to provide information on the
funding requested for continued places at private and voluntary partner
providers where the council agreed to fund for these years we would need
to manually search every funding invoice for each partner provider for
each of these years, then extract and collate new information.  There are
10 funding periods per year multiplied by 34 providers for 2013, 2014 and
2015 and by 33 providers for 2016.  This would be a total 1,350 invoices. 
This cannot be done without significant additional work and the creation
of new information. 
Just for clarification, I should also explain that the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 was introduced to ensure that people have
the right to request access to “recorded information” held by public
authorities such as the Council. “Recorded information” is information
that exists in some permanent form, e.g. correspondence or a database
extract. However, the Act does not apply where people are seeking an
extensive analysis of information and the creation of new information that
we would not otherwise be required to collate.
For 2017 there was one funding request for a continued place at a private
and voluntary partner provider for birth month August to December which
Angus Council agreed to fund.
 
For 2018 there were two funding requests for a continued place at a
private and voluntary partner provider for birth month August to December
which Angus Council did not fund.
 
There is no information held for self-funded places for birth month August
to December for years 2013 to 2018.
 
2. Is my understanding also correct that all discretionary funding
requests (regardless of whether they are for a place at  a council,
private or voluntary nursery provider) will be provided automatically by
Angus Council from now on (for children whose deferral year would start in
Aug 2019)?
 
No, from August 2019 where Angus Council has agreed to fund a
discretionary deferral request this place will be funded in either a local
authority nursery or a private and voluntary partner provider.  However,
where Angus Council has not agreed to fund a discretionary deferral
request, this will need to be self-funded regardless of whether the child
attends a local authority nursery or a private and voluntary partner
provider.
 
Regards
Jacqueline
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Jacqueline Dawson, Performance Information Officer, Schools and Learning,
Angus Council, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AN,
Tel 01307 491911  [mobile number]
 

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Patricia Anderson

Dear Jacqueline,

Thank you for your reply. It goes some way to clarifying matters.

I would be grateful if I could now have a response to my original questions 1 and 2 for the years that Angus Council does hold the data (2017 and 2018). For clarity, I am looking for the data based on the combination of council and private/voluntary nursery places that were applied for by the parents/carers of children in the birth cohort I defined in these questions as well as data on the number of these applications that were funded by Angus Council regardless of whether these were in council nurseries or private/voluntary partnership nurseries .
Yours sincerely,

Patricia Anderson

Dear Ms Anderson

Thank you for your further clarification. Please see information below for the years 2017 and 2018.

Question 1

For 2017 100% of the deferrals requested for birth month August to December were funded (57 in total of which 1 requested a private and voluntary partner provider which Angus Council agreed funding for. The remaining 56 requested a council nursery).

For 2018 95.55% of the deferral requested for birth month August to December were funded (45 in total of which 2 requested a private and voluntary partner provider which Angus Council did not agree to fund. The remaining 43 requested a council nursery).

Question 2

For 2017 57 applications for discretionary deferral funding were received and 57 were successful.

For 2018 45 applications for discretionary deferral funding were received and 43 were successful.

I apologise again for the misunderstanding and the inconvenience this may have caused you.

Regards
Jacqueline Dawson
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Jacqueline Dawson, Performance Information Officer, Schools and Learning, Angus Council, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AN,
Tel 01307 491911 [mobile number]

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