Evidence of Demand for Harpenden Free School

Christopher Cairns made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Christopher Cairns

Dear Department for Education,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I request the following information:

In making an application for setting up a Free School it is necessary to provide evidence of parental demand. I request all information/communications relating to and the actual evidence of parental demand provided to the Department for Education for the Harpenden Free School (Unique Reference Number: 138561).

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

Dear Mr Cairns

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0069278

Thank you

Department for Education
Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Tel: 0370 000 2288

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=?utf-8?Q?academyquestions=C2=A0_ ?=, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cairns,

Thank you for your recent request on a Freedom of Information request -
regarding Evidence of Demand for Harpenden Free School.

Our response is attached

Yours sincerely

Martin

Martin Hawkins

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Christopher Cairns

Dear Martin,

Thank you for your response and from reading I understand that you are unable to release any details that would compromise those involved. In light of this may I request more general information on the Evidence of Parental Demand:

- The Total number of Parents that signed up as part of the Evidence of Parental Demand
- And which Cities, Towns and/or Villages the Parents who are on the Evidence of the Parental Demand were in

One final question, how does the Department for Education ensure/enforce that those Parents who sign up for the Evidence of Parental Demand send their Children to that New Free School?

Yours Sincerely,

Christopher Cairns

Laura McInerney left an annotation ()

Actually, the grounds on which the DfE have rejected this request do not agree with a recent judgement by the ICO which suggested these sorts of reasons are not strong enough to outweigh benefits of disclosure. You would be sensible to ask for an internal review of this decision.

Christopher Cairns

Dear Department for Education,

I have received no response from my reply to the original request. These are quite important questions as during a time of austerity a further £2.35 billion (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/micha...) has been ear-marked for the creation of more school places over the next few years.

The spending needs to be matched carefully to where demand for school places is, so therefore it is only reasonable to understand how the DfE enforces this and the amount of Parental Demand required plus the whether that demand is local to where the school is.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

Thank you for contacting EFA Academy Enquiry Service

Your email has been received by [email address]<mailto:[email address]>

We will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

EFA Academy Enquiry Service

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=?utf-8?Q?academyquestions=C2=A0_ ?=, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cairns

Please find attached a letter that was sent to this email address on 5
December regarding your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act.

Regards

Martin Hawkins

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Laura McInerney left an annotation ()

This is an odd response. Mr Cairns was clearly asking why his follow-up questions, written ON 5th December, have not been answered. Re-sending a letter to his original request does not answer his follow-up.

Mr Cairns - I would ask the DfE to answer your questions from the 5th December within 7 days. If they do not you may wish to ask for an internal review as to why this information request has not received a response.

Christopher Cairns

Dear Martin Hawkins,

Thank you for your quick response, unfortunately your response does not address the follow-up questions I submitted on the 5th December 2013 in reply to your letter.

I refer you back to my response to your letter and repeat under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I request the following information:

In regard to the Harpenden Free School:

"- The Total number of Parents that signed up as part of the Evidence of Parental Demand
- And which Cities, Towns and/or Villages the Parents who are on the Evidence of the Parental Demand were in

One final question, how does the Department for Education ensure/enforce that those Parents who sign up for the Evidence of Parental Demand send their Children to that New Free School?"

May I remind you that this request was submitted on the 5th December and is now over the 20 working days for delivery of the information, therefore a response within 7 days is needed.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

Thank you for your message. This email is to confirm that we have received your enquiry and are working on a response.
Meanwhile, for the latest policy information you may want to look at the DfE website: www.education.gov.uk/efa<http://www.education.gov.uk/efa>

We have a live “Hot topics” page covering the most common queries we receive, which you may find answers your question here<http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/exe...>.

Regards

Academies Enquiry Service

Education Funding Agency

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Department for Education

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Dear Mr Cairns

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0003420.

 

Thank you

 

Department for Education

Ministerial and Public Communications Division

Tel: 0370 000 2288

 

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Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cairns,
Thank you for your request fior information. Please find a response
attached. 
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0003420. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

James Straughan
EFA Academies and Maintained Schools
[2][email address]
[3]www.education.gov.uk

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2. mailto:[email address]
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Christopher Cairns

Dear Department for Education,

Thank you for your response to my request.

I would like to request an internal review on the decision to withhold information on the evidence of parental demand for the Harpenden Free School under section 36(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This information is important and whilst I respect the privacy of the individuals who signed up as evidence of parental demand, knowledge about whether these parents are in the local vicinity of the school is important for three reasons:

1) To validate the people as real/genuine people signing the evidence of demand.
2) To create the most sustainable schools in the longer term, if out of area parents are signing on the evidence of demand then this creates additional traffic flows to the local area.
3) The cost to the tax payer and efficient use of public funds (Value for Money) - surplus school places may lead to significant expenditure in creating a 'new' school which is then subsequently closed down in the short to mid term.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

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Dear Mr Cairns,
Thank you for your request for an internal review. Please find a response
attached 
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0012400. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

James Straughan
EFA Academies and Maintained Schools
[2][email address]
[3]www.education.gov.uk

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Laura McInerney left an annotation ()

Given that the letter of the 27th is referred to as the sole grounds on which this is being turned down, and given that those grounds are almost exactly the same as those not accepted by the ICO in a recent FOI case (see here http://ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/deci...) I would appeal.

Contrary to belief, I often tell people not to appeal to the ICO as I am fairly certain it is getting old for the DfE and for the ICO. But if the ICO are stating that there is a strong public interest in this information then I think it is important that you continue.

It is also worth pointing out that you have asked, in your revised request, only for numbers and towns - in a rounded fashion and not for personal identifiers of any individual.

=?utf-8?Q?academyquestions=C2=A0_ ?=, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cairns

Please find the attached letter for your attention.

Kind regards

 

Denise Barker

Academies – East of England & NE London

Education Funding Agency

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Christopher Cairns

Dear Denise Barker,

Thank you for your letter and the additional information, this request is now complete and shall be closed.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

Thank you for your message. This is an automated reply to confirm that we have received your enquiry and are working on a response. We are aware that there is an issue with our email servers and we will respond to you as soon as we can.

Please do not reply to this message.

Kind Regards

Academies Enquiry Service
Education Funding Agency

Web: www.gov.uk/efa<http://www.gov.uk/efa>
Twitter: @educationgovuk<http://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk>
Facebook: www.facebook.com/educationgovuk<http://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk>

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Christopher Cairns

Dear Department for Education,

My apologies for re-opening this request, but I've received a few messages from some parents within Harpenden who said that they signed up to show their support for the Harpenden Free School. Can you confirm whether any Parents within Harpenden signed up for the Evidence of Parental Demand please?

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

Dear Mr Cairns

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0067067.

Thank you

Department for Education
Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Tel: 0370 000 2288

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Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cairns,
Thank you for your email dated 14 October 2014. Please find attached our
response.
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0067067. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Christian Gleadall
EFA Academies and Maintained Schools
[2]www.gov.uk/dfe

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Christopher Cairns

Dear Department for Education,

Thank you for your response and clarification. Having had a chance to review it, I have some questions regarding it. Whilst, it is true that Harpenden is a Town in the District of St Albans (http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/A3_Dis...), the district does have a settlement hierarchy mentioned within the current draft SLP (Policy SLP1 - http://stalbans-consult.limehouse.co.uk/...) making a distinction between City, Towns, Villages and Green Belt settlements. The reference indicates that settlements such as Park Street/Frogmore, Redbourn and Wheathampstead are all Villages within District, the DfE/EfA's initial response on 6th October 2014 made a distinction between St Albans and those Villages. Shouldn't therefore Harpenden be a distinct reference rather than bundled in with St Albans?

In addition, in looking at the Harpenden Free School Impact Assessment (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...) section 10 of the report shows the St Albans District primary places forecast. Hertfordshire County Council has two separate planning areas for the St Albans District area; Harpenden (Area 11) and St Albans (Area 13) as identified in their 'Meeting the Rising Demand for School Places' reports (http://www.hertsdirect.org/docs/pdf/m/mr... and www.hertsdirect.org/docs/xls/f/primfore1.... District level data was used in the Impact Assessment for the Free School, does the DfE/EfA use District level data/forecasting when considering Free School Applications?

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Cairns

=?utf-8?Q?academyquestions=C2=A0_ ?=, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cairns

Please find the attached response to your enquiry dated 15 November 2014.

Kind regards

 

Denise Barker

Academies – East of England & NE London

Education Funding Agency

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Christopher Cairns

Dear =?utf-8?Q?academyquestions=C2=A0_ ?=,

Thank you for your response.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Cairns

Department for Education

Thank you for your message. This is an automated reply to confirm that we have received your enquiry and are working on a response.

Please do not reply to this message.

April Highlights:

· Admission Appeals 2015/16 - In order to help parents to better understand the types of IAP complaints EFA can investigate, we published a factsheet<https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...>. We ask academies to contact clerks they have contracted to run their IAPs this year to request that they include a copy of the factsheet with the panel’s decision letter.
As well as explaining the type of IAP complaints EFA can investigate, the factsheet directs parents to submit valid complaints via our online IAP complaint form, accessible on the Government’s website GOV.UK<https://www.gov.uk/schools-admissions/ap...>.

For the latest policy information please refer to the EFA pages of the GOV.UK website<https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...>; including our funding payments and compliance<https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...> page which you may find useful, along with our business cycle wall planner<https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...>.

Those new to academies should refer to the Welcome pack<https://www.gov.uk/information-for-new-a...> in the first instance.

Kind Regards

Academies Enquiry Service
Education Funding Agency

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Twitter: @educationgovuk<http://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk>
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