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Maesybryn Communication / ASD Unit Llantwit Fardre

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Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,

We have set out below some FOI queries for response. Please:-

1. Confirm whether the staff at the Foundation Phase (3 to 7 year olds) Communication Unit at Maesybryn Primary School, Llantwit Fardre ("Communication Unit") achieve all of the job description and personal specifications (dated June 2015) for their respective roles. If they do not please confirm which elements of the job specification have not been met?
2. Also provide details of the actual qualifications of the staff at the Communication Unit rather than reference to a "job description"?
3. Confirm how often the Picture Exchange Communication System training (provided by Pyramid Education) is delivered and to whom (only confirmation of which staff at the Communication Unit is required) and the date of the last such training?
4. Provide details of the “Specialist ASD Team” that delivers ongoing mentoring to the Communication Unit and details of each member of the Specialist ASD Team’s qualifications (including post graduate specialisms in ASD);
5. Provide details of when the 2 day course on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA Course) delivered by Kerry Farrell was provided and which of the staff at the Communication Unit received the training;
6. Provide details of the topics were covered in the ABA Course;
7. Provide details of the training and qualifications (setting out the training body and qualification obtained) of the teacher at the Communication Unit in respect of proprioception;
8. Provide details and dates of the Team Teach training delivered to the staff at the Communication Unit;
9. Provide details and documents setting out the basis of the therapy provided to the ASD children in the Communication Unit i.e. Teach/DIR Floor and relevant qualifications of the staff at the Communication Unit in respect of such methods of therapy.

Yours faithfully,

S Akram

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Akram

Thank you for you request for information.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (or Environmental Information Regulations 2004, if it
relates to environmental information).

You should ordinarily expect to receive a response to your request no
later than 20 working days following the date of submission to the
Council. We will contact you should this not be the case.

Yours sincerely

Corporate Governance Team
for Director of Legal & Democratic Services

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Dear Sirs,

Please confirm when responses to this request will be forthcoming. The LA should not be using the 20 working days as some sort of target date as it seems to in its dealings.
Any response should respond in full to all queries raised.
Yours sincerely,

S Akram

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Akram

 

Please find the response to your FOI request below and attached.

 

  

1. Confirm whether the staff at the Foundation Phase (3 to 7 year olds)
Communication Unit at Maesybryn Primary School, Llantwit Fardre
("Communication Unit") achieve all of the job description and personal
specifications (dated June 2015) for their respective roles. If they do
not please confirm which elements of the job specification have not been
met?

 

Information is not held in relation to this part of your request.

 

2. Also provide details of the actual qualifications of the staff at the
Communication Unit rather than reference to a "job description"?

 

Unfortunately we are unable to provide qualifications/training of members
of staff.  We believe that such information is exempt under section 40
(personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act"),
as the information constitutes third party data. Section 40(2) provides
that personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the
conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the Act disclosure
of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained
in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to that person.

Accordingly, in accordance with Section 17 of the Act this e-mail acts as
a Refusal Notice in relation to this part of your request. 

 

3.  Confirm how often the Picture Exchange Communication System training
(provided by Pyramid Education) is delivered and to whom (only
confirmation of which staff at the Communication Unit is required) and the
date of the last such training?

Training is accessed by attending registered courses. In-house updates
from specialist central ASD team and Speech and Language Therapy Service
take place within the school setting as required and based on pupil need.

 

Teacher attended registered course on 10th & 11th March 2016.

 

 

4. Provide details of the “Specialist ASD Team” that delivers ongoing
mentoring to the Communication Unit and details of each member of the
Specialist ASD Team’s qualifications (including post graduate specialisms
in ASD);

 

The specialist ASD team is managed by a SEN Coordinator with expertise in
ASD and Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties. There are 3
specialist teachers in the team who work primarily in supporting pupils
and providing advice to schools in relation to ASD. In addition there are
another two specialist teachers who work primarily supporting pupils and
providing advice to schools in relation to speech and language and
communication.

 

Unfortunately we are unable to provide qualifications/training of members
of staff.  We believe that such information is exempt under section 40
(personal information) of the Act, as the information constitutes third
party data. Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties
is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is
satisfied. Under the Act disclosure of this information would breach the
fair processing principle contained in the DPA, where it would be unfair
to that person.

Accordingly, in accordance with Section 17 of the Act this e-mail acts as
a Refusal Notice in relation to this part of your request. 

 

5. Provide details of when the 2 day course on Applied Behaviour Analysis
(ABA Course) delivered by Kerry Farrell was provided and which of the
staff at the Communication Unit received the training;

 

The 2 day course took place on 3rd & 4th May 2016. The course was
delivered to all teachers in ASD  / CDC Foundation Phase classes which
included Maesybryn Primary, together with specialist teachers in the
central ASD team.

 

6. Provide details of the topics were covered in the ABA Course;

 

Please find attached powerpoint of the content of the course.

 

 

7. Provide details of the training and qualifications (setting out the
training body and qualification obtained) of the teacher at the
Communication Unit in respect of proprioception;

 

Training was provided in school by an Occupational Therapist from Cwm Taf
Health Board. Training focused on the implementation of a sensory diet in
the school day, including proprioception

 

8. Provide details and dates of the Team Teach training delivered to the
staff at the Communication Unit;

 

The class teacher received Team Teach training whilst employed in her last
role.

 

The training of the class teacher and other staff in the unit is due for
renewal and will be undertaken on 16th December by trained local authority
trainers.

 

 

9. Provide details and documents setting out the basis of the therapy
provided to the ASD children in the Communication Unit i.e. Teach/DIR
Floor and relevant qualifications of the staff at the Communication Unit
in respect of such methods of therapy.

Information is not held in relation to this part of your request.

As you are aware you have a right to request an internal review of this
response. If you wish to exercise this right please set out in writing
your grounds and send your appeal to the Council’s Principal Democratic
Services Officer. Her name is Mrs. Christine Macey and she may be reached
at [1][email address]
<[2]mailto:[email address]> or on 01443 424076.

Kind regards

Corporate Governance Team

 

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Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Rhondda Cynon Taff Council's handling of my FOI request 'Maesybryn Communication / ASD Unit Llantwit Fardre'.

With regard to the response received to question 1 and 9 it seems to me to be unlikely that the local authority do not to hold such information given the importance of the same. I would like the responses revisited. The LA's general responses to FOI requests are generally elusive which is not in line with the principles of the FOI.

With regard to question 1 if it is suggested that the local authority do not know or have not considered (and therefore hold such information) whether staff employed by them in respect of vulnerable learners, hold the requisite qualifications and experience for such a role that would be a real concern. I am not asking for you to provide an opinion or guess on an issue. This would be wholly distinct from the usual request to provide information. Rather, I simply ask that you carry out adequate and properly directed searches from various sources of information that you hold in order to answer a question.
With regard to question 9 to suggest that the local authority do not hold "details and documents setting out the basis of the therapy provided to the ASD children in the Communication Unit" would be worrying. Again I am not asking for you to provide an opinion or guess on an issue. Please carry out adequate and properly directed searches from various sources of information that you hold in order to answer the question.

The use by the local authority of the FOI responses to hinder and delay information being passed legitimately to a requester especially when the local authority is fully aware that such information is likely to be of interest for the purposes of a tribunal hearing against the local authority is disturbing and raises questions of those professionals with conduct of the relevant files/queries.

Finally please confirm the relevant solicitors details responsible for the local authority's responses.

Yours faithfully,

S Akram

Gummer, Claire,

Dear Mr Akram

Thank you for your email.

Your request will be considered through the internal review process and
the Service Director, Legal Services, will respond to you within 20
working days from receipt of your appeal.

Yours sincerely

Corporate Governance Team

show quoted sections

Jones, Christopher B (Legal),

SENT ON BEHALF OF MR. CHRISTOPHER JONES, DIRECTOR OF LEGAL & DEMOCRATIC 
SERVICES

 

Dear Mr Akram

 

As the Director of Legal & Democratic Services it falls to me consider
requests for internal reviews. I have reviewed the response you received
to this request.

 

With regard to the responses you received to question 1 and 9 you consider
it unlikely that the Council does not hold information given the
importance of the same. You have requested the responses be revisited.

 

I shall take each question in turn.

 

1. Confirm whether the staff at the Foundation Phase (3 to 7 year olds)
Communication Unit at Maesybryn Primary School, Llantwit Fardre
("Communication Unit") achieve all of the job description and personal
specifications (dated June 2015) for their respective roles. If they do
not please confirm which elements of the job specification have not been
met?

 

You have commented as follows:

 

With regard to question 1 if it is suggested that the local authority do
not know or have not considered (and therefore hold such information)
whether staff employed by them in respect of vulnerable learners, hold the
requisite qualifications and experience for such a role that would be a
real concern. I am not asking for you to provide an opinion or guess on an
issue. This would be wholly distinct from the usual request to provide
information. Rather, I simply ask that you carry out adequate and properly
directed searches from various sources of information that you hold in
order to answer a question.

 

I would wish to clarify that the right of access under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 is to information held in a recorded form at  time of
the request. Public authorities like RCT CBC are under no obligation to
create information to satisfy requests so if the answer to a question
raised by an applicant has not previously been recorded or is not held by
it at the time of receipt of the request, then a public authority does not
have to comply with the request.

Following my review and consultation with relevant officers the answer to
this part of your request remains as previously communicated. The Council
does not hold information relevant to this request. Consequently
expressing any view on this aspect of your request would constitute an
opinion and involve creating new information. Clearly staff would not be
appointed if they did not meet any of the ‘essential’ criteria that may be
required (such as certain qualifications) as part of commencing any role
across the Council.

9. Provide details and documents setting out the basis of the therapy
provided to the ASD children in the Communication Unit i.e. Teach/DIR
Floor and relevant qualifications of the staff at the Communication Unit
in respect of such methods of therapy.

 

You have commented as follows:

 

With regard to question 9 to suggest that the local authority do not hold
"details and documents setting out the basis of the therapy provided to
the ASD children in the Communication Unit" would be worrying. Again I am
not asking for you to provide an opinion or guess on an issue. Please
carry out adequate and properly directed searches from various sources of
information that you hold in order to answer the question.

 

Having discussed with officers and reviewed  I conclude there is no
information  held in regards to ‘documents setting out the basis of the
therapy provided to the ASD children in the Communication Unit i.e.
Teach/DIR Floor’

With regards to the relevant qualifications of the staff at the
communication unit in respect of such methods of therapy I consider the
following exemptions applies.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide qualifications/training of members
of staff.  We believe that such information is exempt under section 40
(personal information) of the Act, as the information constitutes third
party data. Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties
is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is
satisfied. Under the Act disclosure of this information would breach the
fair processing principle contained in the DPA, where it would be unfair
to that person.

Accordingly, in accordance with Section 17 of the Act this e-mail acts as
a Refusal Notice in relation to this part of your request. 

You may if you so wish now complain to the Information Commissioners'
Office if you remain dissatisfied with the Council's response. They can be
reached via [1]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Kind regards

 

Christopher  Jones

Director Legal & Democratic Services

 

 

 

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