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Has your illegal 'chilling effect' clause been used against any student or staff member?

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Dear Edge Hill University,

In your rules, you have an illegal chilling effect clause that states that students may not say anything bad about the university, in any way, even verbally. Specifically, it is D.3.2.20 and states:

'A student must not intentionally or recklessly use the name of the University or any of its members in oral, written or electronic form (including social networking sites, fora and blogs) in such a way that either by content or expression it brings the good name of the University into disrepute.'

How many times has this illegal clause been used against students or staff, e.g. in order to stop them whistleblowing about things such as the unsafe training of healthcare staff, accommodation problems, or other issues?

Yours faithfully,

Protector

foi, Edge Hill University

Good morning

Our reference: FOI181914506

Thank you for your recent correspondence requesting information relating to Edge Hill University. Your request was received in our offices 18th July 2019 and is being processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under the Act, the University is required to provide you with a response within 20 working days. I will write to you in response to your request for information no later than 15th August, 2019.

The Freedom of Information Act includes a number of exemptions to releasing information. Some of these are qualified exemptions, which require us to consider whether it is in the public interest to disclose or withhold the information. In these circumstances, we may need more time to consider your request, and if this is the case, I will write to you by the date above to inform you of when you can expect to receive a response.

If you have any queries regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact me, quoting the above reference number in all future correspondence.

Kind regards

Nicole Hughes
Edge Hill University

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foi, Edge Hill University

Good afternoon

Our reference: FOI181914506

In relation to your recent request below, I can confirm it has now been processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The University does not have a rules document. We think you must be referring to a previous version of a document entitled the Student Regulations incorporating the Code of Behaviour and Disciplinary Procedures. This document only applied to students and has been replaced by the Student Disciplinary Regulations which can be found at https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/documents/stu.... There is no clause in this document similar to the one you are referring to.

We trust that this information fully answers your request, however if you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review, quoting the above reference number in all communications. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Dr C Hutchinson-Howorth, Director of Strategic Planning at the University.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner requesting he review our decision. You must submit your complaint in writing to the Commissioner within six months of receiving the response to review letter. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Kind regards

Nicole Hughes
Edge Hill University

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Dear Edge Hill University,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Edge Hill University's handling of my FOI request 'Has your illegal 'chilling effect' clause been used against any student or staff member?'.

I did not ask whether the current rules have the illegal clause. I asked whether the illegal clause that existed in the rules that I mentioned had EVER been used against any student or staff member.

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

Yours faithfully,

Protector

foi, Edge Hill University

1 Attachment

Dear Protector

Internal Review Reference: FOI181914506

Your email dated 13th August requested a review of the Freedom of Information response provided by Nicole Hughes on 12th August, 2019. Please find an attached appeal response.

We trust this information fully answers your request, however If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner requesting he review our decision. You must submit your complaint in writing to the Commissioner within six months of receiving the response to review letter. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Lisa Cobain
Data Protection Officer

Strategic Planning and Policy Unit
Edge Hill University
St Helens Road
Ormskirk
Lancashire
L39 4QP

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Protector please sign in and let everyone know.