Funding, peer review and conflict of interest: Internal Report "Analysis of bias in the CEM11+ test for Buckinghamshire"

The request was partially successful.

Dear Durham University,

Concerning the Internal Report "Analysis of bias in the CEM11+ test for Buckinghamshire" (https://www.cem.org/attachments/publicat...) I would be most grateful if you could provide the following information.

1. The sources of funding or other support for this "research".

2. The nature of any peer review or quality control.

3. A statement on any potential conflict of interest (https://www.dur.ac.uk/research.innovatio...)

Yours faithfully,

Neal Skipper

ACCESS I., University of Durham

Dear Mr Skipper,

 

Freedom of Information Request

 

I acknowledge receipt of your email below requesting information from
Durham University.

 

Please be advised that the University will respond as soon as possible and
in any event within 20 working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Unit

Durham University

 

 

Information Governance Unit

t: +44 (0) 191 334 6103/46246  e: [Durham University request email]

 

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ACCESS I., University of Durham

Dear Mr Skipper

 

Thank you for your request for information from Durham University.
Colleagues have provided the information below in response to your
questions.

 

Concerning the Internal Report "Analysis of bias in the CEM11+ test for
Buckinghamshire"
([1]https://www.cem.org/attachments/publicat...)
I would be most grateful if you could provide the following information.

 

1.         The sources of funding or other support for this "research".

            The analysis was not funded.

 

2.         The nature of any peer review or quality control.

The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) believes that disclosure of
this information could prejudice the commercial interests of Durham
University.  Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act exempts
information whose disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the
commercial interests of any person (including the public authority
holding it).

 

3.         A statement on any potential conflict of interest
([2]https://www.dur.ac.uk/research.innovatio...)

            Information not held.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the University’s response to your freedom of
information request, you can ask us to internally review our handling of
your request, including the application of any exemptions applied.  To do
this, please email [3][Durham University request email] or write to:

 

Information Governance Unit

Maple Wing

Mountjoy Centre

Stockton Road

Durham

DL1 3LE           

 

Please state the grounds on which you wish the decision to be reviewed and
enclose any other information that may be useful in considering the matter
further.  We aim to inform you of our decision within 20 working days from
the date your request for internal review is received.

 

If you are not satisfied with the results of the internal review you may
apply to the Information Commissioner's Office for an independent review.

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[4]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Donna Walker

Information Governance Officer

Durham University

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.cem.org/attachments/publicat...
2. https://www.dur.ac.uk/research.innovatio...
3. mailto:[Durham University request email]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Durham University,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Durham University's handling of my FOI request 'Funding, peer review and conflict of interest: Internal Report "Analysis of bias in the CEM11+ test for Buckinghamshire".'

1. Unless the staff were working unpaid, the analysis must have been funded (by HEFCE for example?), so I'd be very grateful if you could provide the information requested.

2. In my view the public interest outweights the Authority's desire for secrecy. The report has been placed on a public access website, and claims to analyse for bias in (the University's) 11+ tests. It is therefore in the public interest to know whether, for example, this report has been subjected to any external scrutiny, or has just been produced to support the advertising claims for your tests. If there has been no external or internal quality control, the University should make this clear.

3. The fact that you are claiming that a straightforward answer to point 2 above "could prejudice the commercial interests of Durham University" means that CEM will have followed the University's procedures for "Financial conflicts of interest": https://www.dur.ac.uk/research.innovatio.... This being the case the University will hold a copy of the potential conflict of interest disclosure, and I would therefore like to repeat my request for 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,

Neal Skipper

ACCESS I., University of Durham

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Skipper

Please find attached the University's response to your request for internal review.

If you are not satisfied with the results of the internal review you may apply to the Information Commissioner's Office for an independent review.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk

Yours sincerely

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Dear Professor Long,
Many thanks for your response to my request for an Internal Review.
I would be most grateful if you could clarify your point 4c): "There was no assessment of potential conflict of interest because the review process was deemed to be rigorous and appropriate". The Report was funded by Durham University, conducted by employees of Durham University, reviewed by employees of Durham University, and has a direct impact on the commercial interests and reputation of Durham University and employees of Durham University. I find it difficult to imagine a clearer conflict of interest. I would therefore like to repeat my request that the University release a statement explaining how this conflict of interest has been managed, and what safeguards, if any, have been put in place.
Yours sincerely,
Neal Skipper.

ACCESS I., University of Durham

Dear Mr Skipper

 

The internal review regarding this FOI request was carried out as
requested and the information held has been provided to you.  The
university has no further information to add to the response. 

 

If you are not satisfied with the results of the internal review you may
apply to the Information Commissioner's Office for an independent review.

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[1]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

David Cull

Information Governance Officer

Durham University

 

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