Pupil subject choice allocations

Billy Fagan made this Freedom of Information request to Aberdeen City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Aberdeen City Council,

Please could you provide me with the following:

1. Copies of all the received 2nd year subject choice(those used for choosing their 3rd year subjects) forms from Bucksburn Academy.

2. A copy of the formula used at Bucksburn Academy to assign subjects to pupils based on these completed forms.

3. The number of timetabled classes for each subject per week. For example if there are 2 chemistry classes per week, each taking up 3 periods the response here is 2, the number of individual classes made up of distinct pupils.

4. a) The maximum numbers of pupils permitted in each subject on the selection form.
b) The minimum numbers of pupils permitted in each subject on the selection form.
c) The number of teachers available for each subject on the selection form and a break-down of their timetabled class responsibilities as regards the subject choices for 3rd year. i.e. how many 3rd year classes & periods will each teacher be taking per week.

5. a) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art class who had Art as a first choice selection (numbered 1)
b) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art class who had Art as a second choice selection (numbered 2)
c) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art class who had Art as a third choice selection (numbered 3)

6. The number of appeals received by the school regarding initial subject allocation and the number of those resulting in a change of allocated subjects.

7. The number of pupils from previous years who did not get a first choice subject for 3rd year and did not choose it in 4th year, possibly as they were "a year behind" or for some other reason, known or unknown.

8. The number of pupils not receiving a first choice subject this year who are forced to take alternative routes to gaining this education, by way of college course, OU course, Scotvec module, change of school or other.

9. The number of pupils who have in the past studied with external bodies as Bucksburn Academy have been unable to provide classes that meet their planned education route.

It may be helpful if during the redaction of pupil names and other personal information that a meaningless(to me) unique identifier be noted as it is likely that there will be follow up requests based on these papers, such as "was pupil *A3* allocated Art based on these choices" etc. This will save time by the school when trying to work out to which form I am referring without releasing pupil's details.

Yours faithfully,

Billy Fagan

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

Dear Mr Fagan,

Thank you for your request for information, made under Section 1(1) of
the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA), and received on 3 May
2012.

We would like to ask you to clarify your request so that we can
identify and locate the information which you have requested. Under
Section 1(3) of the FOISA, we do not have to supply you with the
requested information until you have provided us with more detail in
this respect.

Please could you provide me with the following:

1. Copies of all the received 2nd year subject choice (those used
for choosing their 3rd year subjects) forms from Bucksburn Academy.

2. A copy of the formula used at Bucksburn Academy to assign
subjects to pupils based on these completed forms.

3. The number of timetabled classes for each subject per week. For
example if there are 2 chemistry classes per week, each taking up 3
periods the response here is 2, the number of
individual classes made up of distinct pupils.

4. a) The maximum numbers of pupils permitted in each subject on
the selection form.
b) The minimum numbers of pupils permitted in each subject on
the selection form.
c) The number of teachers available for each subject on the
selection form and a break-down of their timetabled class
responsibilities as regards the subject choices for 3rd year.
i.e. how many 3rd year classes & periods will each teacher
be taking per week.

5. a) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art
class who had Art as a first choice selection (numbered 1)
b) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art
class who had Art as a second choice selection (numbered 2)
c) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art
class who had Art as a third choice selection (numbered 3)

6. The number of appeals received by the school regarding initial
subject allocation and the number of those resulting in a change of
allocated subjects.

7. The number of pupils from previous years who did not get a
first choice subject for 3rd year and did not choose it in 4th year,
possibly as they were "a year behind" or for some
other reason, known or unknown

8. The number of pupils not receiving a first choice subject this
year who are forced to take alternative routes to gaining this
education, by way of college course, OU course, Scotvec module, change
of school or
other.

9. The number of pupils who have in the past studied with external
bodies as Bucksburn Academy have been unable to provide classes that
meet their planned education route.

We would be extremely grateful if you could clarify the time period
which you wish your request to cover and, specifically, the date range
in relation to questions 1, 3, 6, 7 and 9, i.e.

1. Copies of all the received 2nd year subject choice (those used for
choosing their 3rd year subjects) forms from Bucksburn Academy. Please
clarify whether this question applies to the current school year
(2011/12) or a wider date range.

3. The number of timetabled classes for each subject per week. For
example if there are 2 chemistry classes per week, each taking up 3
periods the response here is 2, the number of individual
classes made up of distinct pupils. Please clarify whether this question
applies to the current school year (2011/12) or the future school year
(2012/13).

6. The number of appeals received by the school regarding initial
subject allocation and the number of those resulting in a change of
allocated subjects. Please clarify whether this question applies to the
current school year (2011/12) or a wider date range.

7. The number of pupils from previous years who did not get a first
choice subject for 3rd year and did not choose it in 4th year, possibly
as they were "a year behind" or for some
other reason, known or unknown. Please clarify how many 'previous'
years you wish this question to cover, e.g. the previous 3 school
years.

9. The number of pupils who have in the past studied with external
bodies as Bucksburn Academy have been unable to provide classes that
meet their planned education route. Please clarify the date range you
wish to cover in terms of 'in the past', e.g. the previous 3 school
years.

We would also be grateful if you could provide a definition of external
bodies in reference to Question 9.

Clarifying these points will help us to be sure we are providing, where
possible, the information you are interested in. Please note we will
keep your request on file for 20 working days whilst we await your
clarification.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Katrina Lovie
Freedom of Information Compliance Officer

Freedom of Information Compliance Team
Legal and Democratic Services
Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
Marischal College
Lower Ground North
Business Hub 2
ABERDEEN
AB10 1AQ
Tel: 01224 523430/523602
Fax: 01224 264201
email: [Aberdeen City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Dear Katrina Lovie,

Thanks for your response. I think you have rightfully picked out what I'm looking for but just to get it down in black and white...

For questions 1 and 6 I would like the request to cover the current school year (2011/12)

For question 3 as you suggest I would like the information for the next year, the classes affected by the current year's choices.

For questions 7 and 9 the range should cover either since the school opened in October 2009 or since the beginning of the current headship, whichever is earlier if different.

I hope this clarifies the request and if you need any other clarifications or information please feel free to contact me again.

Yours sincerely,

Billy Fagan

Dear Katrina Lovie,

Sorry I clicked send a little hastily there, to clarify the meaning of external bodies in question 9 I would propose, "any source of learning not provided directly by the staff of Bucksburn Academy"

So this would include colleges, distance learning, private tuition, outsourcing to other schools etc. Anyone providing a course of education to pupil(s) of Bucksburn Academy who are not normally Bucksburn Academy teachers. Only those known to Bucksburn Academy are requested to avoid "information not held". For example if some pupil is getting a private tutor to help with English and the school is unaware of it, I'm not interested.

I'm particularly interested in subjects taken "externally" that are also provided by Bucksburn Academy but due to lack of class space, staffing or some other administrative reason the pupils are requiring additional educational influence. I have purposely not restricted the question to this section though perhaps if possible the information could be split. (Total pupils known to be taking external education. Of this number the number taking external education in subjects taught at Bucksburn Academy)

Yours sincerely,

Billy Fagan

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

Dear Mr Fagan,

Information enquiry reference FOI-12-0516

Many thanks for your recent clarification of your information request,
which we received on 4 May 2012.

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is
4 June 2012.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

Yours sincerely,

Katrina Lovie
Freedom of Information Compliance Officer

FoI Enquiries Team
Resources Management (City Solicitor)
Aberdeen City Council
Town House
Broad Street
Aberdeen AB10 1AQ
Tel: 01224 522875/522521
Fax: 01224 638556
email: [Aberdeen City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Fagan,

Thank you for your information request of 4 May 2012, made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). Aberdeen City Council (ACC) has completed the necessary search for the information requested.

Please could you provide me with the following:

1. Copies of all the received 2nd year subject choice (those used for choosing their 3rd year subjects) forms from Bucksburn Academy. (Clarification: I would like the request to cover the current school year (2011/12)).
ACC is unable to provide you with this information as it relates to pupils' personal details and the choices they have made for their S3 curriculum. Releasing this information into the public domain under FOISA would allow the pupils to be identified. The pupils would not expect ACC to disclose this information about them. ACC considers that releasing this information would form a breach of the Data Protection Principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. Please refer to the attached Section 38(1)(b) exemption notice FOI-12-0516 - 38(1)(b)

2. A copy of the formula used at Bucksburn Academy to assign subjects to pupils based on these completed forms.
ACC does not hold a formula as pupils are not allocated to subjects based on any formula. This would be common across all schools. Please refer to the attached Information Not Held notice FOI-12-0516 - Not Held

3. The number of timetabled classes for each subject per week. For example if there are 2 chemistry classes per week, each taking up 3 periods the response here is 2, the number of individual classes made up of distinct pupils. (Clarification: I would like the information for the next year, the classes affected by the current year's choices.)
Please refer to the attached document, FOI-12-0516 - Question 3

4. a) The maximum numbers of pupils permitted in each subject on the selection form.
b) The minimum numbers of pupils permitted in each subject on the selection form.
All subjects have a maximum of 30 pupils (for non practical subjects) except the following practical subjects which have a maximum class size of 20: Art & Design, Home Economics, Engineering, Practical Craft, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

c) The number of teachers available for each subject on the selection form and a break-down of their timetabled class responsibilities as regards the subject choices for 3rd year. i.e. how many 3rd year classes & periods will each teacher be taking per week.
Please refer to the attached document, FOI-12-0516 - Question 4(c). Teachers have teaching commitments across the whole school for S1-S6 which means that not all teachers are available to teach S3 or have the capacity to teach S3.

5. a) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art class who had Art as a first choice selection (numbered 1)
38

b) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art class who had Art as a second choice selection (numbered 2)
1

c) The number of pupils who were assigned a place in an Art class who had Art as a third choice selection (numbered 3)
0

6. The number of appeals received by the school regarding initial subject allocation and the number of those resulting in a change of allocated subjects. (Clarification: I would like the request to cover the current school year (2011/12))
13 enquiries of which 7 resulted in change of subject as there was the capacity in the process and timetable to meet the requests whilst ensuring pupils were able to cover all the curriculum areas as specified in the "Building the Curriculum 3" Curriculum for Excellence document.

7. The number of pupils from previous years who did not get a first choice subject for 3rd year and did not choose it in 4th year, possibly as they were "a year behind" or for some other reason, known or unknown. (Clarification: the range should cover either since the school opened in October 2009 or since the beginning of the current headship, whichever is earlier if different.)
This is the first year of personalisation and choice for S3. In previous years pupils were making choices for Standard Grade and Intermediate courses which were two year courses and so pupils did not make a further choice for S4. We do not hold historical course choice data. Please refer to the attached Information Not Held notice, FOI-12-0516 - Not Held.

8. The number of pupils not receiving a first choice subject this year who are forced to take alternative routes to gaining this education, by way of college course, OU course, Scotvec module, change of school or other.
None - pupils are not choosing national qualification courses in S3. They are personalising their curriculum as part of the S1-S3 curriculum for excellence broad and general education. They will make choices for the new national qualifications at the end of S3 to begin in S4.

9. The number of pupils who have in the past studied with external bodies as Bucksburn Academy have been unable to provide classes that meet their planned education route. (Clarification: the range should cover either since the school opened in October 2009 or since the beginning of the current headship, whichever is earlier if different.) (Clarification: to clarify the meaning of external bodies in question 9 I would propose, "any source of learning not provided directly by the staff of Bucksburn Academy"

So this would include colleges, distance learning, private tuition, outsourcing to other schools etc. Anyone providing a course of education to pupil(s) of Bucksburn Academy who are not normally Bucksburn Academy teachers. Only those known to Bucksburn Academy are requested to avoid "information not held". For example if some pupil is getting a private tutor to help with English and the school is unaware of it, I'm not interested.

I'm particularly interested in subjects taken "externally" that are also provided by Bucksburn Academy but due to lack of class space, staffing or some other administrative reason the pupils are requiring additional educational influence. I have purposely not restricted the question to this section though perhaps if possible the information could be split. (Total pupils known to be taking external education. Of this number the number taking external education in subjects taught at Bucksburn Academy)
We do not hold this data. Bucksburn Academy operates a senior school consortium with Dyce Academy which allows pupils to choose subjects in S5 and S6 in either school with the delivery of some courses being shared between the schools. Please refer to the attached Information Not Held notice, FOI-12-0516 - Not Held.

ACC is unable to provide you with information on The number of pupils from previous years who did not get a first choice subject for 3rd year and did not choose it in 4th year, possibly as they were "a year behind" or for some other reason, known or unknown and The number of pupils who have in the past studied with external bodies as Bucksburn Academy have been unable to provide classes that meet their planned education route as it is not held by ACC. In order to comply with its obligations under the terms of Section 17 of the FOISA, ACC must issue an official notice in relation to any requests for information not held by it. We therefore attach an Information Not Held notice.

ACC is unable to provide you with information on Copies of all the received 2nd year subject choice(those used for choosing their 3rd year subjects) forms from Bucksburn Academy as it is exempt from disclosure. In order to comply with its obligations under the terms of Section 16 of the FOISA ACC must issue official refusal notices in relation to any requests for which it is claiming an exemption under the FOISA. We therefore attach a refusal notice which specifically refuses your request under the terms of Section 38(1)(b) - of the FOISA.

We hope this helps with your request.

Yours sincerely,

Grant Webster
Freedom of Information Compliance Officer

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you are unhappy with the response to your request for information, or the way in which your request has been handled, you can submit a complaint or request a review of our response. You should do this 40 working days after receipt of this information. To complain or request a review, please write to:

Freedom of Information Compliance Team
Legal and Democratic Services
Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
Marischal College
Lower Ground North
Business Hub 2
ABERDEEN
AB10 1AQ
Email: [Aberdeen City Council request email]

Your request for review must include your name, an address, and your reason(s) for requesting a review. You should also include the reference number for your original request for information.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for review, you can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision unless you have been through the Council’s review procedure. The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
www.itspublicknowledge.info

Freedom of Information Compliance Team
Legal and Democratic Services
Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
Marischal College
Lower Ground North
Business Hub 2
ABERDEEN
AB10 1AQ
Tel: 01224 523430/523602/523827
Fax: 01224 264201
email: [Aberdeen City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Dear Aberdeen City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Aberdeen City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Pupil subject choice allocations'.

In response to Q1 I was issued a refusal on grounds of data protection, I feel that this is not applicable here as any personal information can be redacted. Choices would not constitute personal information as per DPA 1998. Redaction of names etc would make the pupils unidentifiable. I could reference previous successful FOI requests featuring redacted information seemingly ad infinitum.

In response to Q2 I received a Not held notice. This is absurd. Some method of working out who to put where must have been used. I can clarify this question if required. "Formula" should be taken to mean any methodology used in the allocation of subjects based on subject selections.

In response to Q8 I received an answer that was to a question nobody asked. I asked how many pupils are being forced to take an alternative route to gain their education in their chosen subjects. I never asked anything about qualifications. Education is not qualifications and qualifications are only a small part of education and being educated. I know for a fact the answer here is greater than or equal to 1 as my daughter is statistically part of this number. Perhaps another clarification is necessary, "how many pupils didn't get a subject they chose" might be a simpler way of putting this question.

In response to Q9 I received a not held notice though a partial answer. I asked for numbers. If I send my children to a school and they are transferred to another school, such as Dyce, I would expect the school to know how many pupils were travelling there. I also know that teachers, particularly guidance teachers, are aware of pupils taking courses externally, perhaps this search was not properly conducted as the information is clearly held by ACC(perhaps via ACC employees such as teachers)

I would thank the team however for their responses to the questions where information was supplied. As ever I think you do a very good job with these requests and I appreciate the effort when it's given.

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

Yours faithfully,

Billy Fagan

Vikki Cuthbert, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fagan,
 
Please refer to the attached letter in relation to your request for review
of your recent FOI enquiry.
 
Thank you
 
Vikki Cuthbert
Committee Manager
Legal and Democratic Services
Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
Town House
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

email: [email address]
Direct Dial Tel: 522520
Direct Fax No: 523768

Tel No: 522000
www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

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Martyn Orchard, Aberdeen City Council

Dear Mr Fagan,
 
A Freedom of Information (FOI) Review Panel meeting was held on 27 June
where your request for a review was considered. The Panel requested
additional information from Education, Culture and Sport (i.e. Bucksburn
Academy) in regard to each of the four questions where you were unhappy
with the response. This additional information has now been submitted by
the school, however it needs to be checked by the Council's FOI team
and considered by the FOI Review Panel once more before it can potentially
be released to you. Hopefully we will be able to submit you the additional
information next week, apologies for the delay.
 
Regards,
 
Martyn Orchard
FOI Review Panel Clerk

>>> Billy Fagan <[FOI #115445 email]> 31/05/2012
15:45 >>>
     Dear Aberdeen City Council,
    
     Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
     Information reviews.
    
     I am writing to request an internal review of Aberdeen City
     Council's handling of my FOI request 'Pupil subject choice
     allocations'.
    
     In response to Q1 I was issued a refusal on grounds of data
     protection, I feel that this is not applicable here as any personal
     information can be redacted. Choices would not constitute personal
     information as per DPA 1998. Redaction of names etc would make the
     pupils unidentifiable. I could reference previous successful FOI
     requests featuring redacted information seemingly ad infinitum.
    
     In response to Q2 I received a Not held notice. This is absurd.
     Some method of working out who to put where must have been used. I
     can clarify this question if required. "Formula" should be taken to
     mean any methodology used in the allocation of subjects based on
     subject selections.
    
     In response to Q8 I received an answer that was to a question
     nobody asked. I asked how many pupils are being forced to take an
     alternative route to gain their education in their chosen subjects.
     I never asked anything about qualifications. Education is not
     qualifications and qualifications are only a small part of
     education and being educated. I know for a fact the answer here is
     greater than or equal to 1 as my daughter is statistically part of
     this number. Perhaps another clarification is necessary, "how many
     pupils didn't get a subject they chose" might be a simpler way of
     putting this question.
    
     In response to Q9 I received a not held notice though a partial
     answer. I asked for numbers. If I send my children to a school and
     they are transferred to another school, such as Dyce, I would
     expect the school to know how many pupils were travelling there. I
     also know that teachers, particularly guidance teachers, are aware
     of pupils taking courses externally, perhaps this search was not
     properly conducted as the information is clearly held by
     ACC(perhaps via ACC employees such as teachers)
    
     I would thank the team however for their responses to the questions
     where information was supplied. As ever I think you do a very good
     job with these requests and I appreciate the effort when it's
     given.
    
     A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
     available on the Internet at this address:
    
[1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/pu...
    
     Yours faithfully,
    
     Billy Fagan
    
    
    
     -------------------------------------------------------------------
     Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
     [FOI #115445 email]
    
     Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
     published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
     [2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...
    
     If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
     web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
    
    

show quoted sections

Martyn Orchard, Aberdeen City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Fagan,
 
Please find attached a letter and decision notice pertaining to your
request for a review. The additional information referred to will be
provided to you by the Council's FOI team.
 
Regards,
 
Martyn Orchard
FOI Review Panel Clerk

>>> Billy Fagan <[FOI #115445 email]> 31/05/2012
15:45 >>>
     Dear Aberdeen City Council,
    
     Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
     Information reviews.
    
     I am writing to request an internal review of Aberdeen City
     Council's handling of my FOI request 'Pupil subject choice
     allocations'.
    
     In response to Q1 I was issued a refusal on grounds of data
     protection, I feel that this is not applicable here as any personal
     information can be redacted. Choices would not constitute personal
     information as per DPA 1998. Redaction of names etc would make the
     pupils unidentifiable. I could reference previous successful FOI
     requests featuring redacted information seemingly ad infinitum.
    
     In response to Q2 I received a Not held notice. This is absurd.
     Some method of working out who to put where must have been used. I
     can clarify this question if required. "Formula" should be taken to
     mean any methodology used in the allocation of subjects based on
     subject selections.
    
     In response to Q8 I received an answer that was to a question
     nobody asked. I asked how many pupils are being forced to take an
     alternative route to gain their education in their chosen subjects.
     I never asked anything about qualifications. Education is not
     qualifications and qualifications are only a small part of
     education and being educated. I know for a fact the answer here is
     greater than or equal to 1 as my daughter is statistically part of
     this number. Perhaps another clarification is necessary, "how many
     pupils didn't get a subject they chose" might be a simpler way of
     putting this question.
    
     In response to Q9 I received a not held notice though a partial
     answer. I asked for numbers. If I send my children to a school and
     they are transferred to another school, such as Dyce, I would
     expect the school to know how many pupils were travelling there. I
     also know that teachers, particularly guidance teachers, are aware
     of pupils taking courses externally, perhaps this search was not
     properly conducted as the information is clearly held by
     ACC(perhaps via ACC employees such as teachers)
    
     I would thank the team however for their responses to the questions
     where information was supplied. As ever I think you do a very good
     job with these requests and I appreciate the effort when it's
     given.
    
     A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
     available on the Internet at this address:
    
[1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/pu...
    
     Yours faithfully,
    
     Billy Fagan
    
    
    
     -------------------------------------------------------------------
     Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
     [FOI #115445 email]
    
     Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
     published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
     [2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...
    
     If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
     web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
    
    

show quoted sections

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Fagan

Further to the Review Panel decision outcome, please find below the requested information for Questions 1 - 2 and 8 - 9. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay.

1. Copies of all the received 2nd year subject choice (those used for choosing their 3rd year subjects) forms from Bucksburn Academy for the current school year 2011/2012.
Please find attached a grid, REV-12-0516 - Pupil Choice Summary - Q1, showing every return from S2 pupils indicating their order of preference for the S2 into S3 personalisation and choice process. English, Maths, Modern Languages, PE, RMPS, Social Education and the Personal Development courses that are part of the S3 curriculum are core for all pupils. In line with curriculum for excellence pupils had additional choice from each curricular area with two additional electives as shown in the table.

2. A copy of the formula used at Bucksburn Academy to assign subjects to pupils based on these completed forms. "Formula" should be taken to mean any methodology used in the allocation of subjects based on subject selections.
Where pupils choose between subjects in either the curricular area or elective column they are asked to rank the subjects in that column in order of preference (1-3 in the curricular area column, 1-8 in the Elective 1 and 1-7 in the Elective 2). If a pupil prioritises as 1 the same course in both the curricular area column and an Elective column they are allocated that choice in one of the columns and their second choice in the other column. If they have already been allocated that second choice elsewhere they are then allocated their third choice in that elective and so on. The personalisation and choice documentation explains that pupils may not always get their first choice and this was also explained at the information evening for parents held at the school. A pupil will be able to choose a subject in S4 they have not done in S3. Pupils will be making their choices for the senior phase and qualifications at the end of S3 to start in S4.

8. The number of pupils not receiving a first choice subject this year who are forced to take alternative routes to gaining this education, by way of college courses, OU course, Scotvec module, change of school or other (i.e. "how many pupils didn't get a subject they chose").
Please find attached a table, REV-12-0516 - Pupil Allocations - Q8, showing the courses that pupils were allocated to following the process described above in Question 2. 0 (zero) pupils changed school through not getting all their first choices. No pupil in S3 is taking an alternative route such as college or OU courses. Scotvec courses no longer exist.

9. The number of pupils who have in the past studied with external bodies as Bucksburn Academy have been unable to provide classes that meet their planned education route. The range should cover either since the school opened in October 2009 or since the beginning of the current headship, whichever is earlier if different.

To clarify the meaning of external bodies in question 9 I would propose, "any source of learning not provided directly by the staff of Bucksburn Academy". So this would include colleges, distance learning, private tuition, outsourcing to other schools etc. Anyone providing a course of education to pupil(s) of Bucksburn Academy who are not normally Bucksburn Academy teachers. Only those known to Bucksburn Academy are requested to avoid "information not held". For example if some pupil is getting a private tutor to help with English and the school is unaware of it, I'm not interested. I'm particularly interested in subjects taken "externally" that are also provided by Bucksburn Academy but due to lack of class space, staffing or some other administrative reason the pupils are requiring additional educational influence. I have purposely not restricted the question to this section though perhaps if possible the information could be split. (Total pupils known to be taking external education. Of this number the number taking external education in subjects taught at Bucksburn Academy).
Pupils will make a decision to stay at or leave school at 16 for a variety of reasons. This could be to follow a more vocational type course at college, to take up an apprenticeship or workplace training or to continue at school to study at a higher level. This is common to every school in the country. Bucksburn Academy operates an integrated senior school (S5/S6) with Dyce Academy and it is important to understand the nature of this arrangement. Pupils at both schools receive the same option choice as each other which enables them to take classes across the two schools. The timetable and option choices are planned between the two schools to give pupils as much flexibility and choice as possible. Some of the courses are delivered wholly by each school and some of the courses are delivered on a shared basis across the two schools. Therefore, pupils are not choosing a course at Dyce Academy because they cannot get that course at Bucksburn Academy. They are making their choices across the two schools. Please refer to the attached table, REV-12-0516 - S5&6 Bucksburn & Dyce Numbers - Q9, showing the number of pupils from both schools in S5 and S6 and how many attend classes across the two schools for session 2012-2013. Please note that historical data is not held; please refer to the attached Information Not Held notice.

ACC is unable to provide you with information on 9. the number of pupils who have in the past studied with external bodies (before 2012-2013) as it is not held by ACC. In order to comply with its obligations under the terms of Section 17 of the FOISA, ACC must issue an official notice in relation to any requests for information not held by it. We therefore attach an Information Not Held notice.

We hope this helps with your request. Please note that Bucksburn Academy would be very happy to discuss the above with you. The school contact details are available on the ACC website at: http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/education....

Yours sincerely,

Anna Buchan
Freedom of Information Compliance Officer

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for review, you can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision unless you have been through the Council’s review procedure. The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
www.itspublicknowledge.info

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Dear Foi Enquiries,

I'd like to offer my thanks to the team for chasing this up and coming through with the information despite the difficulties in obtaining it. The effort is appreciated.

Thanks again.

Yours sincerely,

Billy Fagan