Dear Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills,

Please could I have the inspection notes from Marlwood School inspection: URN 141341 on 24th May 2017. Could you also confirm receipt of my email.”

Yours faithfully,

Ross McGill

InformationRequest, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

 

Dear Mr McGill

 

Your request for information

 

Thank you for your email of 29 November 2018 in which you requested the
following information:

 

§  “Please could I have the inspection notes from Marlwood School
inspection: URN 141341 on 24th May 2017”

 

We will consider your request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act
2000 and any other legislation that may apply.

 

Should there be any problems or difficulties in processing your request,
we will be in touch with you again shortly. Otherwise, we will respond to
your request within 20 working days from the date we received it, as
required by the Act.

 

This should be by 31 December 2018; however, if we can respond sooner we
will do so.

 

If you have any queries or concerns about the content of this letter,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Julie Hadler

Information Access Co-ordinator

Information Rights and Access Team

 

 

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Alastair O'Neill, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

1 Attachment

Dear Mr McGill,

 

Please find attached our response to your request for information.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Alastair O’Neill

Information Access Officer

Information Rights and Access Team

Ofsted | 2 Rivergate | Temple Quay | Bristol | BS1 6EH

Direct Tel: 0300 013 1287

 

Ofsted National Business Unit: 0300 123 1231

[1]www.gov.uk/ofsted
Ofsted on Twitter at [2]http://twitter.com/Ofstednews

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.gov.uk/ofsted
2. http://twitter.com/Ofstednews

FAO: Richard McGowan

Email: Richard McGowan at [email address] or write to:
Head of Information Rights and Correspondence
Ofsted
2 Rivergate
Temple Quay
Bristol
BS1 6EH

Ofsted ref: CAS-413123-Z2F21P

Dear Mr. McGowan

I am writing in response to Alastair O’Neill’s e-mail and letter, on Ofsted’s behalf, responding to the FOI request made on the 29th November 2018. Thank you for confirming in the correspondence that you hold a copy of the evidence base for the Inspection of Marlwood School (URN: 141341) undertaken on the 24th May 2017.

In the letter it is stated that Ofsted considers that the inspection evidence base is currently exempt from public disclosure under section 33 of the FOI Act 2000 and it is explained in detail in the annex to the letter why it is considered that this is the case.

In responding I would like to formally request an internal review.

In doing so I would like to draw your attention to this article https://schoolsweek.co.uk/ofsted-to-let-... which outlines Ofsted’s report to Parliament stating its intention to let the evidence base be seen by the public upon request.

In Mr Wilshaw’s letter to Parliament he does not state that schools in Special Measures would be exempt from such a request.

Further,
1 - there is a substantial time lapse since Marlwood school was given the judgement
2 - other inspection reports have been released under similar circumstances without any prejudice to the school in question.

Given this, I would like to ask on what grounds the inspectorate believes there is a risk of public harm if the information is released. My understanding is that Public authorities cannot simply claim that there might be harm, there need to be reasonable grounds to believe that it will occur. Given that no one has suffered harm in the past when these forms have been released, it is reasonable to believe that it will not occur in this case.

Yours sincerely,
Ross McGill

InformationRequest, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

Dear Mr McGill,

 

Your request for information

 

Thank you for your email of 3 March 2019, in which you requested a review
of Ofsted’s handling of your request.

 

As you are unhappy with the original response you received to your request
for information, we will carry out a review of the decision. The review
will concentrate on the handling of your request and the application of
the exemptions used to withhold the information.

 

If you have any queries or concerns about the content of this letter,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Richard McGowan

Head of Information Rights and Correspondence

 

 

 

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Dear Ofsted

Is there any update to my request?

Yours sincerely,
Ross McGill

InformationRequest, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

Dear Mr McGill,

Thank you for your email.

Your request is being dealt with and you will receive a reply in due course.

Yours sincerely

Julie Hadler

show quoted sections

Richard McGowan, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

Mr McGill,

 

Thank you for your email of 3 March 2019, requesting an internal review of
Ofsted’s FOI response. This concerned the evidence base from the Marlwood
School inspection during May 2017.

 

Ofsted refused to provide you this information by reference to section 33
of the FOI Act. This was in view of the fact the school was still subject
to monitoring inspections from Ofsted and it was stated that the
disclosure of prior inspection evidence, during this time, would be likely
to cause disruption to inspectors in their ongoing work with the school.

 

You have requested this internal review several months after Ofsted’s
response. I understand you also wished to draw attention to comments
reported in the press about inspection evidence during 2015. I have now
reviewed Ofsted’s response in line with your comments.

 

It is somewhat disappointing you have not addressed or acknowledged
Ofsted’s stated reasons for using the exemption. Section 33(2) of the FOI
Act can be used when one public authority audits or inspects other public
authorities. The exemption applies if disclosing the information might
harm any activity related to such inspections.

 

The school in question is currently subject to (regular) monitoring
inspections by Ofsted, in order to help secure an improvement to its
performance. While the school, its pupils and teachers are working hard to
this end, we are mindful of the impact of disclosing to the public sizable
amounts of non-current inspection evidence (in view the previous grades
given, this will probably have a negative slant). As inspectors could
return to the school at any time, such a disclosure now will not make
their work any easier, nor will it help the school keep a determined focus
towards improvement. I agree with Ofsted’s response, that to disclose now
would disrupt that envisaged inspection work.         

 

In my view Ofsted’s response carefully explained the impact of disclosure,
with appropriate examples, and properly expressed this in terms of the
exemption.            

 

You have provided a link to a press article and made comments about
Ofsted’s approach to disclosing inspection evidence. I can confirm that
Ofsted has, for many years, disclosed inspection evidence, unless an
exemption applies. This means we have always been careful when considering
disclosure, if there is ongoing inspection-related activity. This request
is no different.    

 

Ofsted also provided public interest arguments, which (although you have
not commented upon them) I find soundly expressed the importance of the
inspection process and of the need for schools to be given the opportunity
to make improvements, without the envisaged disruption of disclosure. It’s
worth recounting that Ofsted has published four inspection reports about
this school in the last two years. There is no shortage of information
publicly available about Ofsted’s assessment of the school: which only
emphasises how unnecessary and unfair further disclosure might be at this
time, given the negative impact it is likely to have on Ofsted’s
continuing work with the school.    

 

In my view Ofsted’s response was in accordance with the FOI Act and the
evidence should not disclosed at this moment in time.  

 

I thank you for taking the time to write to me. If you are not content
with the outcome of this internal review, you have the right to apply to
the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether or not we have
complied with our obligations under the FOI Act with respect to your
request.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

[1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/  

 

or:

 

Customer Contact

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Richard McGowan

Head of Information Rights & Correspondence

External Relations

Ofsted

T 03000 131 440 | E [2][email address] | Clive House | 7
Petty France | London | SW1H 9EX | W  [3]www.ofsted.gov.uk Follow Ofsted
on Twitter at [4]http://twitter.com/Ofstednews

 

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