FoI Request: School Climate Strikes and the Fridays for Future Movement

elizabeth thomson made this Freedom of Information request to Dumfries and Galloway Council as part of a batch sent to 32 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

elizabeth thomson

Good morning,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

I am requesting this information on behalf of Amnesty International UK, to help us understand the position of Local Authorities regarding the climate strike actions taken by school pupils in Scotland. We need to be able to advise our young activists, youth groups, and teachers about their potential participation in climate strikes and any action that may be taken against pupils with unauthorised absences.

Please send me:

1. The position of your local authority towards climate strikes and authorised/unauthorised absences from school in order to attend any Friday climate strikes, as of the date you respond to this request.

2. Confirmation of whether climate strikers will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised absences by schools in your Local Authority area, and whether any punitive action will be taken against pupils or schools for involvement in climate strikes.

3. Details of any changes to the position or policy towards climate strike actions and authorised/unauthorised absences in your Local Authority during 2019.

4. Copies of any letters that your Local Authority has sent to schools or to all parents/carers in your authority area during 2019, that relate to climate strikes or the Fridays for Future Movement.

I would like the above information to be provided to me in electronic format.

If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.

I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

Elizabeth Thomson
Campaigner
Amnesty International

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 26/08/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 433125 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 23/09/2019.

Please be aware that, in some circumstances, a fee may be payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you have requested. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued, which would need to be paid in order to progress your request.

If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

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FOI Responses, Dumfries and Galloway Council

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Please find below the Council's response to your request 433125 which was received on 26/08/2019.

Details of request: to help us understand the position of Local Authorities regarding the climate strike actions taken by school pupils in Scotland. We need to be able to advise our young activists, youth groups, and teachers about their potential participation in climate strikes and any action that may be taken against pupils with unauthorised absences.

Please send me:

1. The position of your local authority towards climate strikes and authorised/unauthorised absences from school in order to attend any Friday climate strikes, as of the date you respond to this request.

2. Confirmation of whether climate strikers will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised absences by schools in your Local Authority area, and whether any punitive action will be taken against pupils or schools for involvement in climate strikes.

3. Details of any changes to the position or policy towards climate strike actions and authorised/unauthorised absences in your Local Authority during 2019.

4. Copies of any letters that your Local Authority has sent to schools or to all parents/carers in your authority area during 2019, that relate to climate strikes or the Fridays for Future Movement.

Response:

1. The position of your local authority towards climate strikes and authorised/unauthorised absences from school in order to attend any Friday climate strikes, as of the date you respond to this request.

Currently schools are asked to respect pupil voice and treat these as authorised absences.

2. Confirmation of whether climate strikers will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised absences by schools in your Local Authority area, and whether any punitive action will be taken against pupils or schools for involvement in climate strikes.

No punitive action will be taken, although schools who have concerns regarding pupils falling behind in their education due to significant numbers of absence related to climate strikes will speak with the young person and their family to determine the best way forward.

3. Details of any changes to the position or policy towards climate strike actions and authorised/unauthorised absences in your Local Authority during 2019.

No change

4. Copies of any letters that your Local Authority has sent to schools or to all parents/carers in your authority area during 2019, that relate to climate strikes or the Fridays for Future Movement.

see attatched

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo... or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

OFFICIAL

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy