Impact Assessments for free schools opened in 2016

J Downs 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 refused by Department for Education.

Dear Department for Education,

I should be grateful if you would publish impact assessments for free schools which opened in September 2016.

Yours faithfully,

J Downs

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Thank you for contacting the Department for Education. We can confirm that
we have received the Freedom of Information request you submitted.

We will respond to you within 20 working days.

 

Dear Department for Education,

I submitted a Freedom of Information request on 1 October 2017 asking for the release of Impact Assessments for free schools opened in 2016. I received an acknowledgement on 1 October saying the Department would respond within 20 days as required by law.

You have not done so. I would be grateful if you would release these assessments by 3 November 2017. If I have not received a response by this date I will have no alternative but to request an Internal Review.

Yours faithfully,

J Downs

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Thank you for contacting the Department for Education. We can confirm that
we have received the Freedom of Information request you submitted.

We will respond to you within 20 working days.

 

Laura McInerney left an annotation ()

Janet - if the department aren't responding, don't go down the internal review route, simply send off for a Section 10 notice to the ICO. As long as you have tried to get in touch with the DfE and they have ignored you, that's the correct procedure. The ICO can then issue a Section 10 notice which compels the DfE to release the information. It also then goes into the official log of complaints which *should* be used by the ICO to decide a department needs closer monitoring.

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear Ms Downs,

 

Thank you for your request for information on free schools received on 1
October 2017. Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in replying
to your request. I have dealt with this request under the Freedom of
Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

You requested:

 

“The impact assessments for free schools which opened in 2016”

 

 

The Department holds what you request  but it has not yet been published
on GOV.UK The Department publishes impact assessments once they are ready
for publication. The information published to date is available at:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...

 

 

We are finalising and quality assuring the impact assessments. Therefore,
it is within the scope of the exemption under Section 22 of the Act, as
the information requested is intended for future publication.

 

Section 22 of the Act is a qualified exemption which means that a public
interest test needs to be carried out, and in doing so the following
factors have been considered:

 

o It is acknowledged that there is a general public interest in
disclosure because of the need for there to be open and transparent
government and that the sharing of information with the public should
be free and open. 
o However, the public interest in permitting the Department to publish
information in a manner and at a time of its own choosing is also
important. It is part of the effective conduct of public affairs that
the general publication of information is a conveniently planned and
managed activity within the reasonable control of the public
authority.
o The information about costs you requested will be published once they
are ready for publication, including making them accessible to those
with disabilities.  
o It is not reasonable for the government to be expected to release
piecemeal information in advance of its planned timetable and planned
publication, and there is a strong argument in favour of allowing
everyone to view this information at the same time. 

 

The arguments for and against release have been considered. It is our view
that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the maintenance of
this exemption

 

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2017-0047961. If
you have any queries about this letter, please visit
www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by an
independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Thomas Byrne

Free Schools Group

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...

Laura McInerney left an annotation ()

You could request the timeline/actions for this finishing process...

J Downs left an annotation ()

Thanks, Laura. I've just submitted a new FoI request asking for the timeline for 2016 and 2017 openers. There really is no excuse for any delay. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

J Downs left an annotation ()

I have written about the unacceptable delay in publishing impact statements for free schools opening in 2016 here: http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/20...