Documentation relating to the response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

M Kelly made this Freedom of Information request to Sport England

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Dear Sport England,
I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the information detailed below.

Could you provide me with copies of all information, including but not limited to correspondence, notes of telephone calls and emails held by Sport England related to its consideration of World Rugby’s transgender guidelines issued on 9 October 2020, and the evidence published in support of those, including any information held relating to :-

• Discussions, or planned discussions, with Rugby RFU about its decision (announced on 14 October) not to alter its current policies in the light of the evidence published by World Rugby in support of its decision.

• Consultations with players and groups, promoting the encouragement and support of a) female players and b) transgender players in sport.

• Consultations with medical professionals, scientists, etc, regarding the impact of allowing a) transgender women to take part in women’s competitions and b) transgender men to take part in men’s competitions. Reference to studies considered as part of the consultations should be detailed, along with any other evidence considered as part of the decision-making process.

• Any assessment carried out, or planned to be carried out, of the implications of the evidence published by World Rugby for gender-affected sporting activities as defined on s195 of the Equality Act 2010 and the consideration given to potentially excluding transwomen from the women’s competitions and transmen from the men’s competitions on the grounds of both fair competition and the safety of competitors. This may include, but are not limited to impact/risk assessments, the possibility of members self-excluding or not entering the sport as a result of the perceived risks associated with mixed-sex contact training and games. as well as mixed-sex use of shared changing areas and facilities.

• All relevant documentation regarding the process of communicating the reinforcement of the original 2019 transgender policy to all employees, rugby-playing member clubs and volunteers working within rugby, in light of the of the newly issued World Rugby guidance.

If you consider that Sport England are not responsible for all, or some, aspects of my request, can you please advise which public authority responsible for sport in England would be able to provide this information, please.

Yours faithfully,

M Kelly

FOI, Sport England

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FOI, Sport England

Dear Ms Kelly

 

Thank you for your email in which you request documentation relating to
World Rugby’s transgender guidelines. Your email was received on 21
October 2020 and has been passed to me as I am responsible for responding
to requests for information held by Sport England. 

 

As a public body, Sport England is subject to the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and we will handle your request in accordance with their terms. We will
provide you with our full response promptly and usually within twenty
working days. In some circumstances we may extend this to allow us to
consider the public interest; if this is necessary in your case I will
write to you again and explain why.

 

At this stage it is important to advise you that Sport England, just like
many other organisations and the nation generally, is dealing with the
severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic on human, physical and
technological resources. These impacts have led to delays in the delivery
of our timescales. Should this affect the delivery of a response to your
request we will advise you and request an extension.

 

I will be in touch again in due course and in any event not later than 18
November 2020. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can be
of any further assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Yemisi Abiodun Information Governance Manager   

We have updated our Privacy Statement to reflect the recent changes to
data protection law but rest assured, we will continue looking after your
personal data just as carefully as we always have. Our Privacy Statement
is published on our [1]website, and our Data Protection Officer can be
contacted by emailing [2]Gaile Walters

 

 

From: M Kelly <[FOI #700936 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:03 PM
To: FOI <[Sport England request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documentation relating to the
response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

 

Dear Sport England,

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request
the information detailed below.

Could you provide me with copies of all information, including but not
limited to correspondence, notes of telephone calls and emails held by
Sport England related to its consideration of World Rugby’s transgender
guidelines issued on 9 October 2020, and the evidence published in support
of those, including any information held relating to :-

• Discussions, or planned discussions, with Rugby RFU about its decision
(announced on 14 October) not to alter its current policies in the light
of the evidence published by World Rugby in support of its decision.

• Consultations with players and groups, promoting the encouragement and
support of a) female players and b) transgender players in sport.

• Consultations with medical professionals, scientists, etc, regarding the
impact of allowing a) transgender women to take part in women’s
competitions and b) transgender men to take part in men’s competitions.
Reference to studies considered as part of the consultations should be
detailed, along with any other evidence considered as part of the
decision-making process.

• Any assessment carried out, or planned to be carried out, of the
implications of the evidence published by World Rugby for gender-affected
sporting activities as defined on s195 of the Equality Act 2010 and the
consideration given to potentially excluding transwomen from the women’s
competitions and transmen from the men’s competitions on the grounds of
both fair competition and the safety of competitors. This may include, but
are not limited to impact/risk assessments, the possibility of members
self-excluding or not entering the sport as a result of the perceived
risks associated with mixed-sex contact training and games. as well as
mixed-sex use of shared changing areas and facilities.

• All relevant documentation regarding the process of communicating the
reinforcement of the original 2019 transgender policy to all employees,
rugby-playing member clubs and volunteers working within rugby, in light
of the of the newly issued World Rugby guidance.

If you consider that Sport England are not responsible for all, or some,
aspects of my request, can you please advise which public authority
responsible for sport in England would be able to provide this
information, please.

Yours faithfully,

M Kelly

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[3][FOI #700936 email]

Is [4][Sport England request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sport England? If so, please contact us using this form:

[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

FOI, Sport England

Dear Ms Kelly

 

Further to my email below, I am writing to inform you that we are not yet
in a position to respond to your request for information. Please accept my
apologies for this delay and any inconvenience that it may cause you.

 

Please be assured that we are processing your request and will endeavour
to respond as soon as possible but within the next 10 working days, i.e.
by 2 December 2020.

 

Kind regards

 

Yemisi Abiodun Information Governance Manager   

We have updated our Privacy Statement to reflect the recent changes to
data protection law but rest assured, we will continue looking after your
personal data just as carefully as we always have. Our Privacy Statement
is published on our [1]website, and our Data Protection Officer can be
contacted by emailing [2]Gaile Walters

 

From: FOI <[Sport England request email]>
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 3:26 PM
To: FOI <[Sport England request email]>; [FOI #700936 email]
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documentation relating to the
response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

 

Dear Ms Kelly

 

Thank you for your email in which you request documentation relating to
World Rugby’s transgender guidelines. Your email was received on 21
October 2020 and has been passed to me as I am responsible for responding
to requests for information held by Sport England. 

 

As a public body, Sport England is subject to the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and we will handle your request in accordance with their terms. We will
provide you with our full response promptly and usually within twenty
working days. In some circumstances we may extend this to allow us to
consider the public interest; if this is necessary in your case I will
write to you again and explain why.

 

At this stage it is important to advise you that Sport England, just like
many other organisations and the nation generally, is dealing with the
severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic on human, physical and
technological resources. These impacts have led to delays in the delivery
of our timescales. Should this affect the delivery of a response to your
request we will advise you and request an extension.

 

I will be in touch again in due course and in any event not later than 18
November 2020. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can be
of any further assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Yemisi Abiodun Information Governance Manager   

We have updated our Privacy Statement to reflect the recent changes to
data protection law but rest assured, we will continue looking after your
personal data just as carefully as we always have. Our Privacy Statement
is published on our [3]website, and our Data Protection Officer can be
contacted by emailing [4]Gaile Walters

 

 

From: M Kelly <[5][FOI #700936 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:03 PM
To: FOI <[6][Sport England request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documentation relating to the
response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

 

Dear Sport England,

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request
the information detailed below.

Could you provide me with copies of all information, including but not
limited to correspondence, notes of telephone calls and emails held by
Sport England related to its consideration of World Rugby’s transgender
guidelines issued on 9 October 2020, and the evidence published in support
of those, including any information held relating to :-

• Discussions, or planned discussions, with Rugby RFU about its decision
(announced on 14 October) not to alter its current policies in the light
of the evidence published by World Rugby in support of its decision.

• Consultations with players and groups, promoting the encouragement and
support of a) female players and b) transgender players in sport.

• Consultations with medical professionals, scientists, etc, regarding the
impact of allowing a) transgender women to take part in women’s
competitions and b) transgender men to take part in men’s competitions.
Reference to studies considered as part of the consultations should be
detailed, along with any other evidence considered as part of the
decision-making process.

• Any assessment carried out, or planned to be carried out, of the
implications of the evidence published by World Rugby for gender-affected
sporting activities as defined on s195 of the Equality Act 2010 and the
consideration given to potentially excluding transwomen from the women’s
competitions and transmen from the men’s competitions on the grounds of
both fair competition and the safety of competitors. This may include, but
are not limited to impact/risk assessments, the possibility of members
self-excluding or not entering the sport as a result of the perceived
risks associated with mixed-sex contact training and games. as well as
mixed-sex use of shared changing areas and facilities.

• All relevant documentation regarding the process of communicating the
reinforcement of the original 2019 transgender policy to all employees,
rugby-playing member clubs and volunteers working within rugby, in light
of the of the newly issued World Rugby guidance.

If you consider that Sport England are not responsible for all, or some,
aspects of my request, can you please advise which public authority
responsible for sport in England would be able to provide this
information, please.

Yours faithfully,

M Kelly

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[7][FOI #700936 email]

Is [8][Sport England request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sport England? If so, please contact us using this form:

[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[11]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

FOI, Sport England

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Kelly

 

I write further to your request for information below and apologise again
for our delay in responding and any inconvenience this may have caused
you.  All our teams and officers are incredibly stretched responding to
the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore it has not been possible to respond
within our usual timescales.

 

We have now considered your response and our response is set out below
using the headings in your request:

 

o Could you provide me with copies of all information, including but not
limited to correspondence, notes of telephone calls and emails held by
Sport England related to its consideration of World Rugby’s
transgender guidelines issued on 9 October 2020, and the evidence
published in support of those, including any information held relating
to :-

Please find attached two emails that include information that falls
within the scope of this aspect of your request. As you can see, we
have redacted information outside the scope of your request and all
personal information from the emails. This is because the names and
direct email addresses of our stakeholders and non-senior, non-public
facing staff constitutes personal data as defined by the Data
Protection Act 2018. Our staff and stakeholders have a reasonable
expectation of privacy and would not expect us to make information
about their working lives public. As such, disclosure of this
information would be neither fair nor lawful and in direct
contravention of the first data protection principle.

 

Sport England holds two other email trails that contain information that
falls within the scope of this aspect of your request. However we have
decided that these emails are exempt from disclosure under Sections 36
(2)(b)(i) & (ii) of the Freedom of Information Act (the FOI Act). Section
36 (2) (b) applies because disclosure of this information would (or at the
very least would be likely) prejudice the free and frank provision of
advice or exchange of views between officers of Sport England.

 

Section 36 (2) (b) is a qualified exception, so we are required to carry
out a public interest test to determine whether the public interest in
releasing the information outweighs the public interest in withholding it.
Furthermore information can only be withheld under Section 36 (2) (b) if
it is the reasonable opinion of the ‘qualified person’ that disclosure
would, or would be likely to, cause the prejudice or inhibition that is
envisaged.  

There is a presumption that information should be released unless there
are compelling reasons to withhold it. The public interest test requires a
public body to balance the public interest in withholding the information
against the public interest presumption in favour of disclosure. We have
done this by carrying out a scoring system which is set out in a tabular
form below. We have used a scale of 0-5, with 0 having the least weight
and 5 having the most weight, to determine the weight for and against each
public interest factor. The public interest factors in favour of or
against disclosure are derived from guidance and legislation and they have
also been included in the table.

 

Factors in favour of disclosing the Factors in favour of withholding the

information information
The inherent public interest in The public interest in ensuring that
ensuring openness and transparency public officials can be impartial and
in the work of robust when giving advice, and not
easily deterred from expressing their
public authorities including Sport views by the possibility of future
England (SE). disclosure.

   

PUBLIC INTEREST WEIGHTING: 3 The release of the information would
(or would be likely to) inhibit the
  ability of SE officers to express
themselves openly, honestly and
Prejudice would occur, effect severe completely, or to explore extreme
options, when providing advice or
giving their views as part of the
process of deliberation. Inhibiting
the provision of advice or the
exchange of views may impair the
quality of decision making by SE. The
loss of frankness and candour would
damage the quality of advice and
deliberation and lead to poorer
decision making.

 

 

PUBLIC INTEREST WEIGHTING: 5

 

Prejudice would occur, effect severe
The public interest in ensuring that The public interest in ensuring that
public bodies have a private space to
Organisations in receipt of public discuss matters while a decision is
money should be open to an being reached.
appropriate level of scrutiny
 
 
The release of the information would
PUBLIC INTEREST WEIGHTING: 3 be likely to inhibit the processes of
providing advice or exchanging views.
  As part of this process, SE should be
able to preserve a ‘safe space’ for
Prejudice would occur, effect severe its officers to hold these types of
discussions without the risk or
possibility of future disclosure. The
release of the information would have
a

negative effect on the ongoing
discussions

around transgender inclusion – which
is a

live and very sensitive issue.

 

PUBLIC INTEREST WEIGHTING: 5

 

Prejudice would occur, effect severe

 

 

 

Having considered the above factors, we are satisfied that the balance
lies in favour of withholding the information on this occasion.

 

In coming to this view we have sought the opinion of the qualified person
for Sport England, Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  He
has considered the request very carefully and is of the opinion that the
release of the information would (or would be likely to) inhibit the free
and frank internal discussion of important, politically charged issues
such as transgender participation in sport. He considers that it is vital
that issues of this nature are comprehensively deliberated to ensure that
high quality decisions are made by Sport England.  

 

We are therefore refusing to disclose some of the information you have
requested.

 
• Discussions, or planned discussions, with Rugby RFU about its decision
(announced on 14 October) not to alter its current policies in the light
of the evidence published by World Rugby in support of its decision.

We do not hold any information about this aspect of your request.  

• Consultations with players and groups, promoting the encouragement and
support of a) female players and b) transgender players in sport.

We do not hold any information about this aspect of your request.

• Consultations with medical professionals, scientists, etc, regarding the
impact of allowing a) transgender women to take part in women’s
competitions and b) transgender men to take part in men’s competitions.
Reference to studies considered as part of the consultations should be
detailed, along with any other evidence considered as part of the
decision-making process.

We have not held such consultations and do not hold any information about
this aspect of your request. However Sport England is in the process of
working with UK Sport and the other home country sports councils and a
Sports Consultancy to review the Sports Council Equality trans Guidance
(SCEG).  This will eventually be available for all National Governing
Bodies /sporting organisations to use if they wish. We are drafting the
content at the moment and anticipate that the guidance should be ready for
release in 2021.

• Any assessment carried out, or planned to be carried out, of the
implications of the evidence published by World Rugby for gender-affected
sporting activities as defined on s195 of the Equality Act 2010 and the
consideration given to potentially excluding transwomen from the women’s
competitions and transmen from the men’s competitions on the grounds of
both fair competition and the safety of competitors. This may include, but
are not limited to impact/risk assessments, the possibility of members
self-excluding or not entering the sport as a result of the perceived
risks associated with mixed-sex contact training and games. as well as
mixed-sex use of shared changing areas and facilities.

We have not carried out such assessments and do not hold any information
about this aspect of your request.

• All relevant documentation regarding the process of communicating the
reinforcement of the original 2019 transgender policy to all employees,
rugby-playing member clubs and volunteers working within rugby, in light
of the of the newly issued World Rugby guidance.

We do not hold any information about this aspect of your request.

 

This completes our response to your information request. In reaching our
decision we have consulted the relevant guidance issued by the Information
Commissioner’s Office and available on its website at [1]www.ico.org.uk

 

As a public body, Sport England is subject to the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. This means you are entitled to complain if you are
unhappy with the way we have handled your information request and/or ask
us to review our decision. All internal reviews are carried out by a
colleague who has not previously been involved in the handling of your
information request and we aim to complete them within twenty working
days.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of our Internal Review you have
the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner. Generally speaking
the Information Commissioner will not be able to consider an appeal unless
you have first exhausted the Internal Review procedure provided by Sport
England.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Kind regards

 

Yemisi Abiodun Information Governance Manager   

We have updated our Privacy Statement to reflect the recent changes to
data protection law but rest assured, we will continue looking after your
personal data just as carefully as we always have. Our Privacy Statement
is published on our [3]website, and our Data Protection Officer can be
contacted by emailing [4]Gaile Walters

From: FOI <[Sport England request email]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 9:46 AM
To: FOI <[Sport England request email]>; [FOI #700936 email]
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documentation relating to the
response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

 

Dear Ms Kelly

 

Further to my email below, I am writing to inform you that we are not yet
in a position to respond to your request for information. Please accept my
apologies for this delay and any inconvenience that it may cause you.

 

Please be assured that we are processing your request and will endeavour
to respond as soon as possible but within the next 10 working days, i.e.
by 2 December 2020.

 

Kind regards

 

Yemisi Abiodun Information Governance Manager   

We have updated our Privacy Statement to reflect the recent changes to
data protection law but rest assured, we will continue looking after your
personal data just as carefully as we always have. Our Privacy Statement
is published on our [5]website, and our Data Protection Officer can be
contacted by emailing [6]Gaile Walters

 

From: FOI <[7][Sport England request email]>
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 3:26 PM
To: FOI <[8][Sport England request email]>;
[9][FOI #700936 email]
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documentation relating to the
response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

 

Dear Ms Kelly

 

Thank you for your email in which you request documentation relating to
World Rugby’s transgender guidelines. Your email was received on 21
October 2020 and has been passed to me as I am responsible for responding
to requests for information held by Sport England. 

 

As a public body, Sport England is subject to the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and we will handle your request in accordance with their terms. We will
provide you with our full response promptly and usually within twenty
working days. In some circumstances we may extend this to allow us to
consider the public interest; if this is necessary in your case I will
write to you again and explain why.

 

At this stage it is important to advise you that Sport England, just like
many other organisations and the nation generally, is dealing with the
severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic on human, physical and
technological resources. These impacts have led to delays in the delivery
of our timescales. Should this affect the delivery of a response to your
request we will advise you and request an extension.

 

I will be in touch again in due course and in any event not later than 18
November 2020. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can be
of any further assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Yemisi Abiodun Information Governance Manager   

We have updated our Privacy Statement to reflect the recent changes to
data protection law but rest assured, we will continue looking after your
personal data just as carefully as we always have. Our Privacy Statement
is published on our [10]website, and our Data Protection Officer can be
contacted by emailing [11]Gaile Walters

 

 

From: M Kelly <[12][FOI #700936 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:03 PM
To: FOI <[13][Sport England request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Documentation relating to the
response to the World Rugby guidance - Oct 2020

 

Dear Sport England,

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request
the information detailed below.

Could you provide me with copies of all information, including but not
limited to correspondence, notes of telephone calls and emails held by
Sport England related to its consideration of World Rugby’s transgender
guidelines issued on 9 October 2020, and the evidence published in support
of those, including any information held relating to :-

• Discussions, or planned discussions, with Rugby RFU about its decision
(announced on 14 October) not to alter its current policies in the light
of the evidence published by World Rugby in support of its decision.

• Consultations with players and groups, promoting the encouragement and
support of a) female players and b) transgender players in sport.

• Consultations with medical professionals, scientists, etc, regarding the
impact of allowing a) transgender women to take part in women’s
competitions and b) transgender men to take part in men’s competitions.
Reference to studies considered as part of the consultations should be
detailed, along with any other evidence considered as part of the
decision-making process.

• Any assessment carried out, or planned to be carried out, of the
implications of the evidence published by World Rugby for gender-affected
sporting activities as defined on s195 of the Equality Act 2010 and the
consideration given to potentially excluding transwomen from the women’s
competitions and transmen from the men’s competitions on the grounds of
both fair competition and the safety of competitors. This may include, but
are not limited to impact/risk assessments, the possibility of members
self-excluding or not entering the sport as a result of the perceived
risks associated with mixed-sex contact training and games. as well as
mixed-sex use of shared changing areas and facilities.

• All relevant documentation regarding the process of communicating the
reinforcement of the original 2019 transgender policy to all employees,
rugby-playing member clubs and volunteers working within rugby, in light
of the of the newly issued World Rugby guidance.

If you consider that Sport England are not responsible for all, or some,
aspects of my request, can you please advise which public authority
responsible for sport in England would be able to provide this
information, please.

Yours faithfully,

M Kelly

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[14][FOI #700936 email]

Is [15][Sport England request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sport England? If so, please contact us using this form:

[16]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[17]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[18]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections