Dear Department for Education,
I am requesting total numbers of pupil data under the control of the DfE as of the relevant first date after October 6, 2016 as relates to school census collected data when the Department considered collection 'complete' before any data was deleted or subsequently removed or separated into separate databases.

Please provide the total numbers of individuals' data returned from the autumn census 2016, from any institution, and stored in any form or database, for the following items.

i. Total number of UPNs
ii. Total number of new UPNs in this autumn census collection 2016 which were not included in any previous school census

Within each total number of i. and ii. for each of the following data fields:

a) Nationality
b) Country of Birth
c) Language(s)

Please list total count of each code, such as (equal to ENG (English) or ENB or any other Language(s) other values) as total counts.

For each of the fields please provide the total numbers of responses in each category for which the data is anything other than the positive range of choices, but instead returns another option such as "refused", "not yet obtained", "not known" where it is blank, another error return, or similar, and also the total numbers for UPNs returned with data for each category.

I would expect this in a format which is easy to provide for you, and also easy to review such as .csv, excel or tables with a tab per grouping of Nationality, Country of Birth, Language.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

Jen Persson

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Thank you for your request for information concerning the nationality,
country of birth and language information collected via the school census.
You have requested the following:

 

“I am requesting total numbers of pupil data under the control of the DfE
as of the relevant first date after October 6, 2016 as relates to school
census collected data when the Department considered collection 'complete'
before any data was deleted or subsequently removed or separated into
separate databases.

 

Please provide the total numbers of individuals' data returned from the
autumn census 2016, from any institution, and stored in any form or
database, for the following items.

 

i. Total number of UPNs

ii. Total number of new UPNs in this autumn census collection 2016 which
were not included in any previous school census

 

Within each total number of i. and ii. for each of the following data
fields:

 

a) Nationality

b) Country of Birth

c) Language(s)

 

Please list total count of each code, such as (equal to ENG (English) or
ENB or any other Language(s) other values) as total counts.

 

For each of the fields please provide the total numbers of responses in
each category for which the data is anything other than the positive range
of choices, but instead returns another option such as "refused", "not yet
obtained", "not known" where it is blank, another error return, or
similar, and also the total numbers for UPNs returned with data for each
category.

 

I would expect this in a format which is easy to provide for you, and also
easy to review such as .csv, excel or tables with a tab per grouping of
Nationality, Country of Birth, Language.”

 

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

 

A copy of the information that can be disclosed is provided below. Please
note that a unique pupil number (UPN) is required for every record
returned in the school census and, therefore, the figures below relate to
the number of records returned in the census and not the number of
individual children.

 

i.)   Total number of pupil on roll records included in the 2016 autumn
school census = 8,055,271

 

The information requested regarding “the total number of new UPNs in this
autumn census collection 2016 which were not included in any previous
school census” is not available in the format requested. As you have
requested this data specifically from information directly held within the
autumn school census database before any subsequent move into different
databases and, as identification of new UPNs for the autumn census will
require matching against previous census databases, this is not available
directly from the 2016 autumn census database.

 

The Department holds the remainder of the information you requested
(namely data relating to the nationality, country of birth and language
information collected via the autumn census), but it is being withheld
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The exemption which applies to
this information is section 22 which provides for information to be exempt
from disclosure where the information is held by the Department with a
view to its publication at some future date.

 

Language information relating to the 2016 to 2017 academic year is
published annually via the schools, pupils and their characteristics
statistical release. This will be published in June 2017 – see link below
for official announcement:

 

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics...

 

Language data from the previous academic year is available from table 5a
and table 5b within the national tables at the link below:

 

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics...

 

At the time of receiving your request, we also already had the intention
to publish the new nationality and country of birth information in the
form of anonymised research within a statistical report which will be made
available later this year.

 

Section 22 of the Act is a qualified exemption which means a public
interest test needs to be carried out. In doing so the following factors
have been fully considered:

 

·      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.

 

·      The public interest in permitting the government 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.

 

·      The department had already determined that it will publish the
requested information on its website.

 

·      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. If it were to release this
information as requested on varying occasions this would result in partial
information being released over a protracted period leading to potential
public confusion and inaccuracy.

 

The arguments for and against release have therefore been considered and
it is our view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to the information relating to
this request.

 

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, 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.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics...
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics...

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org