RFID in educational establishments

Pippa King made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

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

Department for Education did not have the information requested.

Dear Department for Education,

For the attention of Christopher Connolly, Pupil Safety and School Security Team, School Intelligence and Bureaucracy Reduction Division.

Upon your recommendation I have contacted the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and asked them the following questions, which I am now asking the Department of Education.

Under the Freedom of Information Act please could you supply the following information within 20 working days.

1) Apart from my email sent to the Department of Education in january 2013, was the Department aware of the RFID, active ultra wideband radio frequency identification with a real time location system (RLTS), used at West Cheshire College, Cheshire, a 14-19 college.

2) Please disclose any discussions the Department has had regarding the introduction or use of RFID in West Cheshire College.

3) Please advise which companies, academics, consultants,
stakeholders, etc, were involved in these discussions.

4) Please provide details of discussions or meetings where RFID in West Cheshire College was discussed.

5) Please advise any Members of the House of Commons and Members of the House of Lords involved or knowledgable in West Cheshire College’s RFID scheme.

6) Please advise any other Government Departments or non
departmental bodies involved in West Cheshire College’s RFID RTLS.

7) Please advise all monies expended on West Cheshire College's RFID.

8) Please advise if the Department is aware of any other schemes of RFID, RTLS or otherwise, in educational establishments.

9) Please advise if the Department is involved in any schemes in educational establishments concerned with RFID, RTLS or other tracking systems.

10) Please advise if the Department is involved in any schemes in educational establishments concerned with smart cards.

11) Please advise if the Department have a budget for the
development of RFID in educational establishments - If so please advise the amount of the budget.

12) Please advise any other Government Departments or non
departmental bodies involved in RFID in educational establishments.

If you need further clarification, please contact me by email. My preferred format to receive the information is electronically, but I can accept hard copies.

Some parts of this request may be easier to answer than others, and in such case please could you release available data as soon as possible rather than delay the entire request.

If the costs of processing this request exceed the limit in the Act, please advise on what information you are able to supply within the cost limit.

Yours faithfully,

Pippa King

Department for Education

Dear Ms King

Thank you for your recent enquiry. 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 2013/0008315.

Thank you

Department for Education
Public Communications Unit
Tel: 0370 000 2288

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Department for Education

Dear Ms King,
Thank you for your request for information which was received on 4
February 2013.  I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. 
You requested:  

“Under the Freedom of Information Act please could you supply the
following information within 20 working days.

1) Apart from my email sent to the Department of Education in January
2013, was the Department aware of the RFID, active ultra wideband radio
frequency identification with a real time location system (RLTS), used at
West Cheshire College, Cheshire, a 14-19 college.

2) Please disclose any discussions the Department has had regarding the
introduction or use of RFID in West Cheshire College.
 
3) Please advise which companies, academics, consultants, stakeholders,
etc, were involved in these discussions.

4) Please provide details of discussions or meetings where RFID in West
Cheshire College was discussed.

5) Please advise any Members of the House of Commons and Members of the
House of Lords involved or knowledgable in West Cheshire College’s RFID
scheme.

6) Please advise any other Government Departments or non departmental
bodies involved in West Cheshire College’s RFID RTLS.

7) Please advise all monies expended on West Cheshire College's RFID.

8) Please advise if the Department is aware of any other schemes of RFID,
RTLS or otherwise, in educational establishments.

9) Please advise if the Department is involved in any schemes in
educational establishments concerned with RFID, RTLS or other tracking
systems.

10) Please advise if the Department is involved in any schemes in
educational establishments concerned with smart cards.

11) Please advise if the Department have a budget for the development of
RFID in educational establishments - If so please advise the amount of the
budget.

12) Please advise any other Government Departments or non departmental
bodies involved in RFID in educational establishments.”

In response to your questions 1) through to 4), having undertaken a search
of our electronic and paper records, I can confirm that this Department
does not hold information other than your email relating to the use of
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or Real Time Location systems (RTLS)
in West Cheshire college and has not held discussions on these matters as
set out in your questions.

In response to your questions 5) and 6), having undertaken a search of our
electronic and paper records, I can confirm that the Department for
Education does not hold information about members of the House of Commons
or the House of Lords or other Government Departments or non-departmental
bodies that are involved or knowledgeable about the RFID system at West
Cheshire College.

With regard to your question 7), having undertaken a search of our
electronic and paper records, I can confirm that the Department for
Education does not hold this information.

In response to your questions 8) and 9), having undertaken a search of our
electronic and paper records, I can confirm that the Department is not
aware of any other schemes involving Radio Frequency Identification or
Real Time Location systems in educational establishments in England, and
is not involved in any schemes involving Radio Frequency Identification or
Real Time Location systems in educational establishments in England.

In response to your question 10), having undertaken a search of our
electronic and paper records, I can confirm that the Department for
Education is not involved in any schemes in educational establishments
concerned with smart cards.

With regard to your question 11), having undertaken a search of our
electronic and paper records, I can confirm that the Department for
Education does not have a budget for the development of RFID in
educational establishments.

In response to question 12) having undertaken a search of our electronic
and paper records, I can confirm that the Department for Education does
not hold information about other Government Departments or non-
departmental bodies involved in RFID in educational establishments.

Thank you for raising these points with us. As I indicated in my previous
email to you on 21 January 2013, we expect schools and colleges to comply
with their duties under the Data Protection Act 1998 when introducing or
operating systems such as those in West Cheshire College. Each school is
responsible for deciding whether to use such technologies and what is
appropriate as each school is best placed to make such decisions subject
to its legal responsibilities. 

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 service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to me within two calendar months of the date of this
letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of your enquiry, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.
Generally, however, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you
have already exhausted the Department's complaints procedure.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0008315. If
you need to respond to us, please visit [1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus,
and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Wilde
School Intelligence and Bureaucracy Reduction Division
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

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