Dear Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council,

I'd like to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the following information:

1. The funding allocated to each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, broken down by each individual formula element.

2. The school funding formula for your local authority (i.e. the detailed explanation/analysis of the formula).

3. The actual budget outturn for each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the financial year 2018-19, together with the projected budget outturn for 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22.

4. The projected pupil numbers for each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the years 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22.

For avoidance of doubt, I am making this request under the Freedom of Information Act. I await your response within 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,

Eliane Wigzell

FOI Team, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received today, 11th June 2019. We are generally required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to provide you with a response promptly, and within no more than 20 working days of receipt of a request, which will be on or before 9th July 2019. If we require any clarification or further details we will contact you as soon as possible, if this is the case then the timescale for response specified above may be subject to change. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact this team.

FOI Team
[Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council request email]

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.
Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately. Please note also that there is no guarantee that this email or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted or amended.
Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a drosglwyddir gydag ef yn gyfrinachol ac at ddefnydd yr unigolyn neu'r corff y cyfeiriwyd hwy atynt yn unig. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn mewn camgymeriad, dylech hysbysu'r person a anfonodd yr e-bost ar unwaith. Hefyd, sylwer nad oes unrhyw sicrwydd nad yw'r e-bost hwn neu unrhyw ymgysylltiad yn rhydd o firws ac nad yw chwaith wedi'i ryng-gipio na'i newid.

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Neal Place, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Afternoon Ms Wigzell,

In respect to your e-mail received on the 11th June 2019 for information relating to school funding please can you explain in more detail your request for Question 2 :- (i.e. the detailed explanation/analysis of the formula).

Thanks NEAL.
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Neal Place
Performance Management / Complaints Officer
Data Unit
ELLL

: Port Talbot SA131PJ
: 01639 763619
: www.npt.gov.uk : [email address]
_________________________________________________________________________________________
The Data Unit rely on customer feedback to measure its performance and improve the service provided.
It would be appreciated if you would visit the following link and respond to the short questionnaire.
Thank you
Data Unit Satisfactory Survey

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Dear Neal Place,

Thanks for getting back to me. I'm doing some research on how funding formulae are designed and what impact they have - comparing across Wales.

Here's a link to the one from Denbighshire: https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/your-...

And I have one for Powys which is very different. https://powys.moderngov.co.uk/mgConvert2...

In essence, Neath Port Talbot should have an analysis in words that describes how the formula works, item by item.

Hope that helps!

Yours sincerely,

Eliane Wigzell

Neal Place, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

6 Attachments

Ms Wigzell,

 

Further to your request for the information dated 11th June 2019, Neath
Port Talbot County Borough Council’s response is as below:-

 

 

1.      The funding allocated to each Primary, Secondary, Through and
Special School for the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and
2019-20, broken down by each individual formula element.

 

2.      The school funding formula for your local authority (i.e. the
detailed explanation/analysis of the formula).

 

3.      The actual budget outturn for each Primary, Secondary, Through and
Special School for the financial year 2018-19, together with the projected
budget outturn for 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-2

 

4.      The projected pupil numbers for each Primary, Secondary, Through
and Special School for the years 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22.?

 

NPTCBC Response:

 

The time required to locate and retrieve the required information would
mean the cost threshold set out in the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection [Appropriate Limit & Fees] Regulations 2004 will be exceeded.

 

We would therefore respectfully inform you that the authority is not
prepared to deal with your request in this instance: as the costs it would
occur in doing so would exceed the costs limit of £450 [i.e. more than 18
hours of one or more officer’s time]. The Authority is therefore invoking
the costs exemption available to it under Section 12 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 in respect to your request

 

 

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response or decision, the Authority has
in place a FOI Complaints Procedure. Complaints or appeals should be
forwarded in writing to the Authority's Monitoring Officer, setting out
the reasons for your dissatisfaction or why the decision should be
overturned. The address of the Monitoring Officer is:

Head of Legal & Democratic Services

Civic Centre

Port Talbot

SA13 1PJ

 

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response you are entitled to complain
directly to the Information Commissioner. However, please note that he
normally requires complaints to have gone through the relevant public
authority's complaints procedure before he will deal with them. The
Commissioners address is:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Neal Place 

Performance Management / Complaints Officer

Data Unit

ELLL

 

›:   Port Talbot  SA131PJ
':   01639 763619       
;:  [1]www.npt.gov.uk         :: [2][email address]

_________________________________________________________________________________________

     The Data Unit rely on customer feedback to measure its performance
and improve the service provided.
     It would be appreciated if you would visit the following link and
respond to the short questionnaire.
     Thank you

     [3]Data Unit Satisfactory Survey  
   

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Dear Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'School funding in Neath Port Talbot'.

I requested information relating to school funding in Neath Port Talbot. All the information I requested should be easily available in the form of spreadsheets used by the authority - to supply information to Welsh Government under its Section 52 obligations, or for the purposes of forecasting and recording education funding of the schools within the authority.

I have requested this information from all the local authorities in Wales, and thus far Neath Port Talbot are the only authority who seem unable or unwilling to comply. It is clear that Powys, Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Ceredigion have largely provided me with copies of information (as spreadsheets) already held by those authorities. This would be have been an acceptable response—I was not asking your authority to reinvent the wheel.

I would therefore request that you review my request and the response and determine afresh if you can supply the information.

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

Yours faithfully,

Eliane Wigzell

FOI Team, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Dear Ms. Wigzell

Thank you for your email received today, 2nd July 2019 which I confirm has been forwarded to the person who undertakes Internal Reviews as per your request and who will respond direct to yourself.

Yours sincerely,
FOI Team
[Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council request email]

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.
Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately. Please note also that there is no guarantee that this email or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted or amended.
Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a drosglwyddir gydag ef yn gyfrinachol ac at ddefnydd yr unigolyn neu'r corff y cyfeiriwyd hwy atynt yn unig. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn mewn camgymeriad, dylech hysbysu'r person a anfonodd yr e-bost ar unwaith. Hefyd, sylwer nad oes unrhyw sicrwydd nad yw'r e-bost hwn neu unrhyw ymgysylltiad yn rhydd o firws ac nad yw chwaith wedi'i ryng-gipio na'i newid.

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Craig Griffiths, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Wigzell

In accordance with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council’s (“the Council”) Freedom of Information Appeal process I am designated by the Council to consider any requests for internal reviews of any decisions taken by officers of the Council to refuse to release information which has been requested by members of the public under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The appeal or request for a review was sent to me via email on the 2nd July 2019, having been received by the Council via email on the same date.

In light of the above process, I have now had the opportunity to consider your application for an internal review of the decision made by the Council.

The purpose of this note is to inform you of the decision which I have made in respect to your appeal and to indicate to you how I have come to that decision. In doing so I, will throughout this letter, refer to background facts and also include the contents of specific pieces of correspondence passing between yourselves and the Council. This is done for the purpose of providing both reference and context to my comments in this decision. It will also assist any third party public bodies to whom you may wish to disclose this letter when considering my response.

As I understand it, your initial request for disclosure was made on the 11th June 2019 whereupon you requested the following information (numbered for the purposes of this review):

“1. The funding allocated to each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, broken down by each individual formula element.
2. The school funding formula for your local authority (i.e. the detailed explanation/analysis of the formula).
3. The actual budget outturn for each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the financial year 2018-19, together with the projected budget outturn for 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22.
4. The projected pupil numbers for each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the years 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22.”

It has been confirmed to me that a response to your request was made on the 2nd July 2019. A copy of that response has been provided to me in the course of me carrying out the review process and it is the content of that response which has led to your request for a review. Set out below is the substantive content of that response:

“The time required to locate and retrieve the required information would mean the cost threshold set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection [Appropriate Limit & Fees] Regulations 2004 will be exceeded.

We would therefore respectfully inform you that the authority is not prepared to deal with your request in this instance: as the costs it would occur in doing so would exceed the costs limit of £450 [i.e. more than 18 hours of one or more officer’s time]. The Authority is therefore invoking the costs exemption available to it under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in respect to your request”

On the 2nd July 2019, upon being dissatisfied with this information you requested an internal review of the Council’s decision, stating:

“I requested information relating to school funding in Neath Port Talbot. All the information I requested should be easily available in the form of spreadsheets used by the authority - to supply information to Welsh Government under its Section 52 obligations, or for the purposes of forecasting and recording education funding of the schools within the authority.

I have requested this information from all the local authorities in Wales, and thus far Neath Port Talbot are the only authority who seem unable or unwilling to comply. It is clear that Powys, Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Ceredigion have largely provided me with copies of information (as spreadsheets) already held by those authorities. This would be have been an acceptable response—I was not asking your authority to reinvent the wheel.”

Having considered the above, I would now respond accordingly on these points for your consideration.

Request for information

Having considered the matter further, the Council is now in a position to be able to provide you with the information requested.

Therefore, taking each question in turn, the following response will be given,

1.The funding allocated to each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, broken down by each individual formula element?
NPTCBC Response: Please see attached.

2.The school funding formula for your local authority (i.e. the detailed explanation/analysis of the formula)?
NPTCBC Response: Please see attached.

3.The actual budget outturn for each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the financial year 2018-19, together with the projected budget outturn for 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22?
NPTCBC Response:
Please see attached for the 2018-19 budget figures. Figures for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 have not been finalised.

4.The projected pupil numbers for each Primary, Secondary, Through and Special School for the years 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-22?
NPTCBC Response: No data is held for projected school numbers.

Conclusion

In light of the information being provided I uphold your appeal and accordingly apologise for the delay taken in providing this information.

There is a right of appeal against this decision to the Information Commissioner. Any appeal should be submitted to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Yours faithfully

Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer

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Dear Craig Griffiths,

Thank you!

Best regards,

Eliane Wigzell