Information relating to the Governance of the Trust, and its use of paid advisors.
David Barry made this Freedom of Information request to North Star Community Trust Limited
This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.
Dear Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust,
1.Please list the names of Trustees of Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust between 24 August 2010 and March 2015, indicating when they were appointed, and if relevant when they ceased to be Trustees.
2.Please list the names of the Members of Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust between 24 August 2010 and March 2015, indicating when they joined, and if relevant when they ceased to be Members.
3. Please state how many meetings of the Trust Board occurred in that period.
4. Please state how many of these meetings took place away from Trust premises and if such meetings happened, where.
5. Please state how many meetings each Trustee attended during their period of office.
6. Please state how many times each Trustee visited premises of the Trust during school hours.
7. Please state the identity of lawyers or law firms engaged by the Trust between 24 August 2010 and end March 2015
8. Please indicate, as far as reasonably practicable, the issues on which the Trust sought legal advice.
9. Please state the total overall expenditure of Cuckoo Halls Academies Trust on any matter between 24 August 2010 to end March 2015.
10. Please state the total fees paid for lawyers between 24 August 2010 and end March 2015, and the sub totals for each firm.
11. It is understood that the Trust engage the firm PLMR "Political Lobbying and media relations" for such issues as "reputation management". Please state the date on which they were engaged, the total fees paid to them to date, and indicate as far as reasonably practicable the issues with which they dealt. Please also indicate whether any other firms or consultants have been engaged for similar purposes, and if so what the cost was.
12 Please indicate what expenditure has taken place under the heading "hospitality" and "Entertainment" sine 24 August 2010 to end March 2015.
13. Please state what expenditure has taken place for parties for staff since 24 march 2010 to end March 2015. (It is understood there are two each year)
Requests under The Freedom of Information Act 2000
Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act requests (“Requests”)
submitted via the “What Do They Know” website on various dates in April
We do not propose to repeat word for word the terms of your requests, but
summarise them below.
Submission dated 15 April 2015
You presented 13 Requests on the topics of Governance of Cuckoo Hall
Academy Trust (“Trust”) and its use of paid advisors. You seek
· All Trustees of the Trust between August 2010 and March 2015,
dates of appointment and cessation of appointments.
· For the same period and requesting the same information, in
relation to Members of the Trust.
· Number of Trust Board meetings that occurred during that period.
· How many of these meetings took place away from Trust premises
and where they happened.
· How many meetings each individual Trustee attended during their
period of office.
· How many times each Trustee visited Trust premises during school
· The identify of lawyers or law firms engaged by the Trust for
the same period.
· Issues on which the Trust sought legal advice.
· Overall expenditure of the Trust for the same period on any
· Total fees paid for lawyers for the same period and sub-total
for each firm.
· Date on which PLMR (PR Agency) was engaged. Total fees paid to
date and issues they dealt with. In addition, any other firms or
consultants engaged for similar purposes and associated costs.
· Hospitality and entertainment expenditure for the same period.
· Staff party expenditure for the same period.
Submission dated 18 April 2015
You presented 7 further requests on the composition of the teaching
workforce. In particular, you are seeking information on:
· Total number of teaching positions at the Trust as at 31
· Teacher positions reasonably expected to be required at the
Trust as of 31 September 2015.
· Total number of teachers, qualified and unqualified, employed at
the Trust as of 31 September 2014.
· Total number of persons employed as unqualified teachers at the
Trust as at 31 September 2014.
· Total number of newly qualified teachers employed at the Trust
as at 31 September 2014.
· Number of teacher resignations received by the Trust as at 31
October 2014, and total number of teacher resignations received by the
Trust as at 28 February 2015.
· Number of NQTs who have left the Trust for any reason during
academic year 2014/15.
Submission dated 25 April 2015
You seek extensive information, comprising 38 requests, relating to Board
meetings at the Trust. You are asking for details regarding:
· Andry Efthymiou’s position as Chair of the Trust Board
(comprising 7 requests).
· Information on the reinstatement of Phill Sowter to the Trust
Board (comprising 8 further requests).
· Reinstatement of Patricia Sowter and Sharon Ahmet (comprising 8
· Events after Andry Efthymiou ceased to be Chair of the Board
(comprising 9 further requests).
· Information on Mr Marino Charalambous’ membership of the Board
(comprising a further 6 requests).
Submission dated 27 April 2015
You presented requests seeking information on public relations work by or
on behalf of The Trust. You seek details of:
· All press releases issued by the Trust.
· All emails and other correspondence with journalists and news
· Correspondence relating to bias and inaccurate media coverage
and any redress sought for this.
· Public relations material or briefings provided on behalf of the
Trust, including videos.
· Circular letters distributed to parents between 1 January 2015
Submission dated 28 April 2015
You presented correspondence requesting information relating to the
reinstatement of Mr Phill Sowter as member of the Trust Board. You
request details of:
· Names of members of the Trust on the date that the meeting was
called, together with dates of them joining the Trust.
· Names of members in attendance at the meeting.
· Number of days’ notice given for the meeting, time, date and
location of the meeting.
· The name of the person who proposed Mr Sowter and the name of
the person who seconded Mr Sowter.
· Whether the vote was unanimous.
· Awareness of the EFA report by members of those that attended
· The minute taker at the meeting.
· The Chair of the meeting.
Having considered the above, I advise you that your requests are
considered to be vexatious under Section 14(1) of the Act. The Trust is
accordingly not obliged to comply with your Requests.
The reason for which the Trust has concluded that your Requests are
vexatious is that they have the potential to cause a disproportionate and
unjustified level of disruption and distress to the Trust. The Trust has
taken into account the context and history of each request as these are
both highly relevant issues. You have submitted a total of 71 Freedom of
Information requests between 15 April 2015 and 29 April 2015. This
amounts to a period of 14 days only. In addition to there being a
significant amount of overlap in the subject matters of your requests, the
Trust considers that their purpose is to create a disproportionate and
unjustified level of disruption and distress. This is contrary to the
spirit of the Act. The Trust considers your series of requests to be an
inappropriate and improper use of the Act.
Furthermore, it would cost more than the “appropriate limit” under the Act
to consider your Requests. The Trust is entitled to aggregate your
requests as they were received within a period of 60 days.
Section 12 of the Act enables the Trust to refuse requests where the cost
of dealing with them would exceed £450.00, being the estimated cost of one
person spending 3.5 working days to determine whether we hold the
information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request (and for the
avoidance of doubt, this response is a response to each individual
submission that you have made via the “What Do They Know” website as
outlined above), you have the right to ask for an internal review.
Internal Review requests should be submitted within two months of the date
of receipt of this response and should be addressed to Emma Breckenridge,
Head Teacher at Enfield Heights Academy, 1-3 Pitfield Way, Enfield, EN3
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Cheshire SK9 5AS
Director of Finance and Operations
Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust
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