Full Details of Expansion Proposal

James Coombs made this Freedom of Information request to Kendrick School

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 refused by Kendrick School.

Dear Kendrick School,

Please advise whether Kendrick School has applied for funding under the Selective Schools Expansion Fund and if so please provide a copy of the submission to the DfE

Yours faithfully,

James Coombs

Amanda Emberson, Kendrick School

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Coombs

 

I refer to  your email request dated 14th October 2018 for information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

A response to your request for information will be sent to you no later
than 16th November 2018 which is 20 school days from your request.

 

Please note for schools, the standard time limit for responding is 20
school days, or 60 working days if this is shorter. Working day means any
day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays and bank holidays;
this may or may not be the same as the days you are open for business or
staff are in work.

 

For your information the consultation response from the Kendrick School
Governors and Senior Leadership is on our website via this [1]link.

 

Kind regards

 

Ms Amanda Emberson
Clerk to Governing Body

Kendrick School
[2]Kendrick School Website London Road
Reading
RG1 5BN
Tel: 0118 9015859
[3]www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk

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

[5][FOI #526189 email]

 

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Dear Ms Emberson,

Thanks very much for the prompt acknowledgement and setting of expectations, although if you have just submitted a request for funding under the Selective Schools Expansion Fund I'm sure it won't take you the whole five weeks to find it.

Section 10(1) of the FOIA states that an authority must comply with section 1(1) of the Act ‘…promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt.’ Advice from the Information Commissioner is that the obligation to respond promptly means that an authority should comply with a request as soon as is reasonably practicable and that if the response is close to, or on, the final day of the 20 working day limit ought to be able to both account for, and justify, the length of time taken to comply with the request.

The full guidance is available here:
https://ico.org.uk/media/1165/time-for-c...

I'm sure I can rely on Kendrick School to reply promptly to my request.

Best Wishes
James Coombs

Amanda Emberson, Kendrick School

Dear Mr Coombs

The Selective Schools Expansion Fund (SSEF) bid application documentation is still being considered by the Department of Education and therefore is regarded as sensitive information until the bid outcome has been announced.

We are unable to release information until we receive further advice from the Department of Education on this application.

We would like to take this opportunity to inform you that we will be consulting on all our Admission policies for 2020 entry in December 2018 which are being changed in response to the summer consultation response.

Ms Amanda Emberson
Admissions Officer/Headteacher's PA

Kendrick School
London Road
Reading
RG1 5BN
Tel: 0118 9015859
www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email. Thank you.
This e-mail is confidential, may be legally privileged and is intended solely for the named recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, you should notify the sender at once and delete the message without reading, copying or in any way disclosing its contents. This sender does not accept liability for any errors or omissions which arise as a result of this e-mail transmission. The named recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence or viruses. The school accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail. Please not that any views presented in this e-mail are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Kendrick School.

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Dear Kendrick School,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Kendrick School's handling of my FOI request 'Full Details of Expansion Proposal'.

It is unclear which exemption you are relying on but in similar circumstances relating to bids to build entirely new schools, the Information Commissioner considered whether 36(2)(c) (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) was correctly engaged, as asserted by the Department for Education, and concluded that it was not. The full decision notice can be found here: https://icosearch.ico.org.uk/s/search.ht...

I would also like to know why you delayed five weeks before refusing to provide this information.

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

Yours faithfully,

James Coombs

Amanda Emberson, Kendrick School

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Coombs

 

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act. On advice from the IOC we are responding to you as
follows:

 

Your Request:

 

Please advise whether Kendrick School has applied for funding under the
Selective Schools Expansion Fund and if so please provide a copy of the
submission to the DfE.

 

Kendrick School Response:

 

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA). 

 

In regard to your request, I can confirm that Kendrick School has applied
for the SSEF and is currently waiting for a decision on the outcome. 
Therefore the bid is still live. The delay in responding to you was due to
the school waiting for advice from the DfE which was originally expected
in mid-November

 

I can also confirm that Kendrick School holds the information that you
have asked for, however, it is exempt from disclosure because it is
intended for future publication.

 

We are not obliged under Section 22 of the FOIA to provide information
that is intended for future publication.  In line with the terms of this
exemption, we have considered whether it would be in the public interest
for us to provide you with the information ahead of publication, despite
the exemption being applicable.  In this case, I have concluded that the
public interest favours withholding the information.

 

When assessing whether or not it was in the public interest to disclose
the information to you, the school took into account the following
factors:

 

Public Interest considerations favouring disclosure

·         Disclosure would improve transparency in the future plans for
the school.

·         Disclosure of the information under FOIA would be consistent
with the school’s commitment to proactively publish data on matters of a
wider public interest.

 

Public Interest considerations favouring withholding the information

·         As a decision on the bid has yet to be made, and as the SSEF is
a competitive bid, releasing the information to members of the general
public could adversely affect the decision making of the DfE. 

·         If the school is not successful in securing the bid on this
occasion, some of the information provided to the DfE will be used again
for future bid applications.

 

We reached the view that, on balance, the public interest is best served
by withholding this information under Section 22 of the FOIA at this time.

 

For your further interest the school will consult on the Admission Policy
for Entry into Year 7 in September 2020 in December 2018. This will be
available on our website via the link below.

 

[1]https://www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk/page...

 

You can find more information about Section 22 by reading the full text of
the FOIA, available at: 
[2]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

 

If you are not satisfied with this response, you have the right to contact
the ICO who has the power to direct us to respond to your request
differently if they consider that we have handled it incorrectly.

 

You can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at the following
address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Internet address: [3]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

I trust this clarifies the position for you.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Ms Christine Kattirtzi
Headteacher

 

 

Ms Amanda Emberson

Admissions Officer/Headteacher's PA

 

Kendrick School

London Road

Reading

RG1 5BN

Tel: 0118 9015859

www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk

 

 

[4][IMG]Please consider the environment before printing this email. Thank
you.
This e-mail is confidential, may be legally privileged and is intended
solely for the named recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, you
should notify the sender at once and delete the message without reading,
copying or in any way disclosing its contents. This sender does not accept
liability for any errors or omissions which arise as a result of this
e-mail transmission. The named recipient should check this e-mail and any
attachments for the presence or viruses. The school accepts no liability
for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail. Please note
that any views presented in this e-mail are solely those of the author and
do not necessarily represent the views of Kendrick School.

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Dear Amanda Emberson,

I presume that you have sought advice from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and not the International Olympic Committee (IOC) although it's not clear when unqualified acronyms are used. I am very familiar with ICO's advice on the correct application of section 22 which is available here https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio....

Paragraph 5 explains that for s.22 to hold you must have already had firm plans to publish this information before I requested it which I find surprising.

With reference to paragraph 10 of the guidance, I would like to thank you for confirming that Kendrick School will be publishing the full bid as the DfE publish only a description of grants awarded.

With reference to paragraphs 15 to 17 please could you provide details of the plans you have for publication, ie will this be published in full on the school website.

Please could you provide the date on which Kendrick School are planning to publish this information. With reference to the ICO's guidance in paragraphs 12 - 14 if this is not fixed please explain how your pre- determined plans for publication refer to the completion of other actions or related events.

Yours sincerely,

James Coombs

Amanda Emberson, Kendrick School

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Coombs

 

I refer to your email received on 22^nd November 2018 and answer your
questions as follows:

 

I presume that you have sought advice from the Information Commissioner's
Office (ICO) and not the International Olympic Committee (IOC) although
it's not clear when unqualified acronyms are used.  I am very familiar
with ICO's advice on the correct application of section 22 which is
available here
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

·         Advice sought from Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

 

Paragraph 5 explains that for s.22 to hold you must have already had firm
plans to publish this information before I requested it which I find
surprising. 

 

With reference to paragraph 10 of the guidance, I would like to thank you
for confirming that Kendrick School will be publishing the full bid as the
DfE publish only a description of grants awarded. 

 

·         When the bid results are announced we will follow the guidance
given by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding publication of
documents.

 

With reference to paragraphs 15 to 17 please could you provide details of
the plans you have for publication, ie will this be published in full on
the school website. 

 

·         When the bid results are announced we will follow the guidance
given by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding publication of
documents.

 

Please could you provide the date on which Kendrick School are planning to
publish this information.  With reference to the ICO's guidance in
paragraphs 12 - 14 if this is not fixed please explain how your pre-
determined plans for publication refer to the completion of other actions
or related events. 

 

·         When the bid results are announced we will follow the guidance
given by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding publication of
documents. If the school is not successful in securing the bid, some of
the information provided to the DfE will be used again  for future bid
applications and therefore we will only share information that is not
deemed sensitive.

 

Yours sincerely

Ms Amanda Emberson
Admissions Officer/Headteacher's PA

Kendrick School
[2]Kendrick School Website London Road
Reading
RG1 5BN
Tel: 0118 9015859
[3]www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk

show quoted sections

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

[9][FOI #526189 email]

 

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.

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
2. http://www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk/
3. http://www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk/
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
5. https://www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk/page...
6. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...
7. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
8. http://www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk/
9. mailto:[FOI #526189 email]
10. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
11. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

James Coombs left an annotation ()

Kendrick School say they consulted with the Information Commissioner's Office before responding to this request. I find this very surprising because in all of my dealings with her staff they have always displayed a very good understanding of the relevant legislation. It is possible the school are confusing the ICO, who give informed and impartial advice on the correct handling of information requests, with the DfE who give advice on handling information which is not necessarily informed, impartial or correct.

The premise for this hypothesis is the number of times the school specifically state they were guided by the DfE. On 19/11/2018 the school said they were unable to release information, "until we receive further advice from the Department of Education" and on 23/11/2018 they said (four times!) they "will follow guidance given by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding the publication of documents."

To correctly refuse this information under s.22 the school must have pre-determined arrangements to publish the requested information although they were unable to give details of any publication plans. Furthermore their response of 23/11/2018 directly contradicts this position saying, "If the school is not successful in securing the bid, some of the information provided to the DfE will be used again for future bid applications and therefore we will only share information that is not deemed sensitive."

This misuse of s.22 to refuse the requested information has been referred to the Information Commissioner.