Dear North Somerset Council,
Please provide information as shown below for the past two academic years (2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 2021) regarding any educational placements given to children 16 years and under who have a EHCP and are residing/attending within the North Somerset area.

(1) Please provide in either CSV/ Excel format (so that the data may be scrutinised within a spreadsheet) a list of educational placements (schools) and the category of SEND (Special Educational Need & Disabilities) for each child placed within.
Please use the following headings
• Academic Year
• Category of SEND; ASD, BESD, DS, HI, MDD, MLD, MSI, PD, PMED, PMLD, SDD, SEMH, SLCN, SLD, SMEH, SPLD, VI
• Name of school
• Type of School & Placement – whether maintained, non-maintained, special, independent, residential, primary, secondary etc
• Normally resident within or outside of NS district.

(2) Please provide a list of schools who have no students with a SEND (if any) in each academic year.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

R Tozer

FoI, North Somerset Council

Good morning

Many thanks for your latest request, which I can confirm that we have received and logged. As this request is of a similar subject as the request received on Friday (our reference 3116977), I am merging this with that request, and we will be working to the same response target date of 10 December. All future correspondence with regards this request will be sent to the request received on 13 November.

Many thanks

Lynsey Wilson
Information Governance Manager
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01275 885117
Email:[email address]
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web:www.n-somerset.gov.uk

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Dear FoI,
I note for both recent FOI requests (Ref; 3116977 ‘SEND - Historical Special School Pupil Allocation Records’ and ‘Ref; ? Educational Placements for SEND pupils in North Somerset’ you have engaged Section 14(2) of the FOI Act.
I would be grateful if you would kindly give specific explanation for this approach.
Thank you

Yours sincerely,

R Tozer

FoI, North Somerset Council

Good morning

I am unclear why you believe that we have rejected your requests as being vexatious? Your requests are both still live, but as they are of a similar subject, will be handled by the same directorate coordinator, and will involve getting information from the same officers, we have, in accordance with the guidance to Freedom of Information, merged the two requests into a single request. The target response date is still as it was for the earlier request, so theoretically you should be getting the response to your second request a little quicker, and reducing the number of open cases we have for you will help with the previous issue we had of responses being sent to the wrong request.

To reiterate, we have not rejected your request, and the handling officer is collating the information.

Many thanks

Lynsey Wilson
Information Governance Manager
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01275 885117
Email:[email address]
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web:www.n-somerset.gov.uk

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Dear FoI,
I quote.
;-

"Under Section 14(2) of the Act, a public authority does not have to comply with a request which is identical, or substantially similar to a previous request submitted by the same individual, unless a reasonable period has elapsed between those requests. There is no public interest test."

No mention of being vexatious

Please state what part of the Act are you engaging to link two requests into one ,if not Section 14 (2)

Yours sincerely,

R Tozer

FoI, North Somerset Council

1 Attachment

Good afternoon

 

The guidance to which I refer can be found in
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

Sections 41 - 43 of the aforementioned guidance document state:

 

‘Two or more requests’

41. Public authorities can aggregate two or more separate requests.

 

42. They should also note that multiple requests within a single item of
correspondence are separate requests for the purpose of section 12. This
was confirmed by the Information Tribunal in the case of Ian Fitzsimmons v
ICO & Department for Culture, Media and Sport (EA/2007/0124, 17 June
2008).

 

43. Therefore a public authority should ensure that each request can be
aggregated in accordance with the conditions laid out in the Fees
Regulations. Any unrelated requests should be dealt with separately for
the purposes of determining whether the appropriate limit is exceeded.

 

The point of this guidance is to prevent a requester from having a request
refused under the time exemption (Section 12), and instead just splitting
it up into multiple requests.

 

However, I haven’t merged your requests with the intention of exempting
it.  The reason for merging your two requests is to aid with the
administrative burden placed on our officers compiling the answers to your
request.  The same officers will be collating the information for both
sets of questions, so enabling them to run the searches concurrently is of
clear benefit.  Equally from your perspective, you get a shorter response
deadline on your more recent request, and the likelihood of the previous
issue we have seen of the wrong response sent to your request timeline is
reduced.

 

We do not merge requests where they are of different subjects.  However,
the two requests I have merged are both related to the allocation of SEND
pupils within North Somerset.

 

I trust this answers your queries, and I am confident you will receive a
response to both your requests soon.

 

Many thanks

 

Lynsey Wilson
Information Governance Manager
North Somerset Council
Tel:                01275 885117
Email:           [email address]
Post:             Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare,
BS23 1UJ
Web:           [2]www.n-somerset.gov.uk

 

 

 

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Dear North Somerset Council,

Please pass this request for an Internal Review to a senior officer who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I request an IR as I disagree with your interpretation of my request Ref; (i) 3116977 ‘SEND - Historical Special School Pupil Allocation Records’ and Ref (ii); ? Educational Placements for SEND pupils in North Somerset’
You have not considered the scope of each request nor have you engaged the relevant section of the FOI Act
Your interpretation is likely to lead to confusion, a loss of focus, lost of structure and a possible lack in candour
Each of my questions are framed to be focused in their purpose and in accordance with the regulations, are purpose-blind

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

Yours faithfully,

R Tozer

FoI, North Somerset Council

Good morning, and thank you for your recent emails with regards your requests.

A public body has the right to consolidate multiple requests from the same requester (the URL to the relevant ICO guidance was provided in my last email to you yesterday).

I stress again, and for the last time, we have chosen to merge your requests to reduce the administrative burden on our officers, where capacity is already stretched in our attempts to keep our essential services running during this pandemic. I will not ask officers to prioritise a Freedom of Information request over these essential duties, and I will make every effort to minimise the impact a Freedom of Information request has on their existing responsibilities. Additionally, as I've already explained twice, the merging of your requests is to assist you, where (a) we know there is a risk with our software of the requests getting muddled and responses being sent to the wrong case; and (b) you will get a response quicker, as the information can be collated in one go.

I will not be carrying out an internal review at this time. If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your requests once you have received a response, then I will happily revisit and conduct an internal review at that time.

If you disagree with my decision here, I can only suggest you escalate your concerns with the Information Commissioner: www.ico.org.uk.

Many thanks

Lynsey Wilson
Information Governance Manager
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01275 885117
Email:[email address]
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web:www.n-somerset.gov.uk

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