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Launch of the Get Help Buying for Schools Service Government consultation response

K Magee made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

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Dear Department for Education,

Regarding the recently published "Launch of the Get Help Buying for Schools Service Government consultation response", it was disappointing the the responses where not split down into 3 sections: Organisations who had in access to the South West Buying Hub, Organisations who had in access to the North West Buying Hub and Organisations who had no access to a Hub. Currently the report could be concluding what the Hub pilots have already demonstrated, the Organisations with access to the pilot service may have a different insight/conclusion. I feel that it is essential that this is considered and so I would like to request that the findings are published in full so that the public can analyze this possibility.

Yours faithfully,

K Magee

MINISTERS, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Thank you for contacting the Department for Education. If you are
contacting us about coronavirus (COVID-19) you can find advice and
guidance on [1]GOV.UK. This includes [2]guidance for educational settings
in England. You can also contact our coronavirus helpline on 0800 046
8687. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm and weekends 10am to
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For emails and other written enquiries you will usually receive a reply
within 15 working days. You can find out how the department processes your
personal information by reading our [3]Privacy Notice.

 

 

[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D42E43.58989C30

 

References

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https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
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https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...
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https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear  K Magee 

Thank you for your recent enquiry which was received on 21 April.

A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information; the
departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should
be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated
reference number 2021-0024007. 

 

Department for Education

Ministerial and Public Communications Division

Tel: 0370 000 2288

Web: [1]https://www.education.gov.uk
Twitter: [2]https://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk
Facebook: [3]https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
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2. https://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk
3. https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear K Magee

Thank you for your email.

The Get Help Buying for School consultation was based upon seeking answers
to a specific set of questions. Therefore the structure of the
consultation response reflected that format.
The consultation was open to all, not just to schools. We did not ask
consultees if they were users of the buying hubs, and therefore we do not
hold that data.

Yours sincerely

Schools Commercial Team
  
 

Dear ACCOUNT, Unmonitored,

Thank you for this response, however I was not expecting that this would have been a question. I was expecting that the name of the organisation was captured. Whether they have access to the current service can be determined from where they are located in the country. Seeing as the DfE has spent so much money on the pre-existing pilot, I would think it extremely important that this perspective is identified. If this opportunity was missed, it seems astonishing as it will impact such a huge amount of public funds.

Yours sincerely,

K Magee

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.

 

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear K Magee

Thank you for your comments.

They have been noted.

Yours sincerely

Schools Commercial Team
 

Dear ACCOUNT, Unmonitored,

As this has past the FOI target timings, am I correct in assuming that the names or any identifying information was not collected as part of the consultation? I had previously not understood your last response to be have this meaning. I would like to know so that I can label the outcome on this website correctly.

If no identifying information was gathered then could all of the responses be shared in their raw format? This would enable the public to provide a level of scrutiny which might be helpful.

Yours sincerely,

K Magee

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.

 

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear K Magee
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 21 May
2021. 
 
You requested: As this has past the FOI target timings, am I correct in
assuming that the names or any identifying information was not collected
as part of the consultation? I had previously not understood your last
response to be have this meaning. I would like to know so that I can label
the outcome on this website correctly. If no identifying information was
gathered then could all of the responses be shared in their raw format?
This would enable the public to provide a level of scrutiny which might be
helpful.
 
I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”).
 
The Department holds the information you have requested.  However, I
consider that the following exemption(s) apply to your request:
Section 35: Formulation of government policy and public interest balance;
and The Act obliges the Department to respond to requests promptly, and in
any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request.
 However, where one of the exemptions listed above is applicable, the
Department must consider whether the public interest lies in disclosing or
withholding the information.  In these circumstances the Act allows the
time for response to be longer than 20 working days. 
 
In your case the Department estimates that it will take an additional 20
days to take a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies.
 It is anticipated that you will receive a full response by 19 July 2021.
 If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion,
we will keep you informed.
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
 
 
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, which 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,
Schools Commercial Team 

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear K Magee
 

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 21 May
2021.

You requested:

 

As this has past the FOI target timings, am I correct in assuming that the
names or any identifying information was not collected as part of the
consultation? I had previously not understood your last response to be
have this meaning. I would like to know so that I can label the outcome on
this website correctly.
 

If no identifying information was gathered then could all of the responses
be shared in their raw format? This would enable the public to provide a
level of scrutiny which might be helpful.
 
Yours sincerely,
K Magee

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Further to my letter of 17 June 2021, the Department has considered
whether the public interest lies in disclosing or withholding the
information. A copy of the information which can be disclosed is enclosed.
Please see attached the raw data from the Get Help Buying for Schools
Consultation as requested.
You will note however, that we have applied a small number of redactions
to which we are applying an exemption at section 40(2) (personal data) of
the Act. Personal data is that which relates to a living individual who
can be identified from that data, or from that data and other information
which is likely to be in, or to come into, the possesion of the requestor.
Disclosure of this information would contravene a number of the data
protection priniciples in the General Data Protection Regulations/Data
Protection Act 2018, and would be regarded as ‘unfair’. By that, we mean
the likely expectations of the data subject that his or her information
would not be disclosed to others and the effect which disclosure would
have on the data subject.
Section 40(2) is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public
interest test.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

Most documents produced by a government department or agency will be
protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be
re-used under the Open Government Licence
([1]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For
information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information
please see The National Archives website
-[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
.

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information
about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual
Property Office’s website at [3]www.ipo.gov.uk.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing 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. 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact the Schools
Commercial Team. Please remember to quote the reference number above in
any future communications.
If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing within two calendar months
of the date of this letter.  Your complaint will be considered by an
independent review panel, which 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
Schools Commercial Team
Department for Education
0370 000 2288

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o... blocked::http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
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2. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor... blocked::http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
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3. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ blocked::http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/

Dear Department for Education,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Education's handling of my FOI request 'Launch of the Get Help Buying for Schools Service Government consultation response'.

Regarding the recently published "Launch of the Get Help Buying for Schools Service Government consultation response", it was disappointing the the responses where not split down into 3 sections: Organisations who had in access to the South West Buying Hub, Organisations who had in access to the North West Buying Hub and Organisations who had no access to a Hub. Currently the organisations with access to the pilot service may have a different insight/conclusion. I feel that it is essential that this is considered and so I requested that the findings were published in full so that the public could analyze this possibility. However the the information provided is missing responses to approximately half of the consultation questions and the responses that are provided do not have a reference code to link each response together. In order to identify as many to these 3 groups, it is necessary to have as much of the data as is possible.

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

Yours faithfully,

K Magee

MINISTERS, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Thank you for contacting the Department for Education. If you are
contacting us about coronavirus (COVID-19) you can find advice and
guidance on [1]GOV.UK. This includes [2]guidance for educational settings
in England. You can also contact our coronavirus helpline on 0800 046
8687. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm and weekends 10am to
4pm.

For emails and other written enquiries you will usually receive a reply
within 15 working days. You can find out how the department processes your
personal information by reading our [3]Privacy Notice.

 

 

[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D42E43.58989C30

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...
https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...
3. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear K Magee

The Department takes very seriously its obligations under the Act,
including the aim to respond to requests for internal reviews within 20
working days.

I am afraid that we have not been able to maintain this standard in this
instance. This delay is not acceptable, and I am very sorry for any
inconvenience this has caused you.

Yours sincerely
Schools Commercial Team
 

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

1 Attachment

Dear K Magee,

I am writing to inform you that the department has now completed its
internal appeal process following your complaint of 8 July 2021.
 

The department has made an independent re-assessment of the case, chaired
by a senior official who was not involved with the original request and
has decided that while some of the information cannot be disclosed for the
reasons set out below and some for the same reasons as set out in the
letter of 8 July 2021, some information can be released and is attached as
a separate document.
 

After careful consideration, the decision for information within columns:

* C – Are you responding as an individual or on behalf of an
organisation?,
* E – What is the name of your organisations – organisation name?; and
* G – What type of organisation is this (if applicable)? – Other.

of the attached Get Help Buying for Schools consultation exercise, is
exempt from disclosure under Section 36(2)(c) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. 
Section 36 provides that information can be withheld where disclosure
would prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs and the public
interest falls in favour of applying the exemption. It is believed that
Section 36(2)(c) is engaged because disclosure could prejudice future
co-operation.
 

Public Interest Test
The Department for Education is committed to recognise there is a strong
public interest to demonstrate openness, transparency and accountability
with regards to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 legislation
particularly in relation to an individuals right to know and understand
how decisions affecting them are made.
 

Considerations favouring non-disclosure
The department is committed to publishing information, however, we do not
consider that it is in the public interest to place information into the
public domain when there is still a need to have free and open
discussions, in this instance for example regarding development of the new
Get help buying for schools service.
To provide more context to this decision, a key aim for this department is
to develop a service that is user-centred, with focus on the users and
their needs. This is an iterative process and user insight and the ability
to be able to hold consultations/conversations in a safe place is integral
to developing a service that is fit for purpose and supports buyers in
schools where they need it.
Feedback will support provision of improved access to services and goods
that will provide value for money for schools. We believe by disclosing
the information would inhibit open and honest advice and views, which in
turn, could lead people not wanting to engage with us in the future and
have a detrimental effect on the new service.
 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder.
 

Most documents produced by a government department or agency will be
protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be
re-used under the Open Government Licence
([1]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For
information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information
please see The National Archives website
-[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
.
 

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information
about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual
Property Office’s website at [3]www.ipo.gov.uk.
 

If you are unhappy with the decision to withhold part of the information
sought, you have the right to appeal directly to the Information
Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
            Information Commissioner’s Office
            Wycliffe House
            Water Lane
            Wilmslow
            Cheshire
            SK9 5AF
 

If the Commissioner comes to the conclusion that that the information
should be released, he will issue a decision notice which will set out the
steps which the department must take and the date by which they must be
taken.
 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote our reference number in any future communications.

 
Yours sincerely
Schools Commercial Team
Department for Education
 

References

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http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
3. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ blocked::http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/

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