School Title Deeds and School Land Title Deeds

Mel Kelly 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,

Can you tell me, for each Academy school in England and Each Academy Company

Who's name is on the title deeds for each school and the title deeds for the land transferred to each academy company - that has been removed from council control and transferred to an academy company control

What is the value of each school

What is the value of the land

How much land has been sold

The total value of title deeds now held by each academy company

How much has been given to each academy company to cover the legal fees etc (number of schools x £25,000) each Academy company has been given

What is the total value of the state assets title deeds now in the hands of academy companies

What is the total value of the land now owned by academy companies transferred from council ownership

How much did each academy company pay to gain ownership of each school they now hold the title deeds for

How much did each academy company pay to gain ownership of the land they now hold the title deeds for

How much of a black hole is in each council's accounts (where their title deeds of ownership of schools and land has been transferred without payment to academy companies

If the remaining council owned schools are all converted to academies what will be the total value of the title deeds of the land and schools title deeds involved.

What is the total bill to date for the £25,000 grant per school? Am I correct in thinking, just the legal fees of transferring state assets to private companies is nearly ONE BILLION POUNDS

What will the total bill to the taxpayer, for the £25,000 grant per school, if every school is converted to an academy by Michael Gove

How much will the interest be on the borrowings the government makes to fund the £25,000 grant per school

How long will it take the taxpayer to pay back the bill, just to cover the grant given by the DFE to transfer state assets to the Academy companies

Are academy comanies free to sell the land they now hold the title deeds for and if so, who gets the money when the Academy sells school land

How much land have academy companies sold so far

Are academy companies free to sell the ownership of the school to a third party and then get the third party to rent the school back to the Academy company ?

How many Tory Party members are on the boards of the companies being given state assets (schools and land) free?

How many Tory members of the House of Lords sit on the boards of the companies being handed state assets for free (schools and school land) and what is the total worth to the company

How many Labour members of the house of lords sit on the boards of the companies being handed state assets for free (schools and school land) and what is the total worth of the state asset givaway to his company?

What is the total value of the state assets transferred to academies controlled by the group of ARK companies (schools and land) of which Stanley Fink, Tory Party Treasurer, is on all the boards (as the Tory Party Treasurer has about 5 different companies involved in ARK schools and he sits on the board of all of them)

Yours faithfully,
Mrs M Kelly

Department for Education

Dear Mrs Kelly

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 2013/0009407.

Thank you

Department for Education
Public Communications Unit
Tel: 0370 000 2288

show quoted sections

Department for Education

Dear Mrs Kelly,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 8^th
February. You requested information in relation to School Title Deeds and
School Land Title Deeds.  I have dealt with your request under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).
The Department is unable to confirm whether it holds the information you
have requested, because it estimates that the cost of determining whether
it holds the information would exceed the cost threshold applicable to
central Government.  This is £600 and represents the estimated cost of one
person spending 3½ working days in determining whether the Department
holds the information. 

Under section 12 of the Act the Department is therefore not obliged to
comply with your request and will not be processing it further. 

However, if you were to make a new request for a narrower category of
information or limit the scope of your request, the Department may be able
to comply with your request within the cost limit, although I cannot
guarantee that this will be the case. 

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.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0009407. If
you need to respond to us, please visit [1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus,
and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Anita Hathaway
EFA Capital
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/

Dear Department for Education,

Thank you for your response

As you have advised I need to narrow my request, please see me narrowed request below

Can you advise the total value of the title deeds for schools and land transferred to Ark Schools (and related ARK Companies)

What is the value of the title deeds for each school
What is the value of the title deeds for any land transferred to Ark Schools and their related companies

How many schools does Ark hold the title deeds for and which council did the title deeds transfer from in each case for each school converted to an Ark Academy

Yours faithfully
Mel Kelly

Department for Education

Dear Ms Kelly

Thank you for your recent email. 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 the reference number 2013/0014819.

Thank you

Department for Education
Public Communications Unit
Tel: 0370 000 2288

Web: www.education.gov.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/educationgovuk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

Description: Description: Description: cid:image001.png@01CD10C9.42884470

show quoted sections

Dear Department for Education,

Your second ref to my revised request is Ref 2013/0014819

I understand by law I should receive a reply promptly and should have received a reply by 3rd April 2013

Please can your department look urgently at my request especially as your department delayed previously and forced me to revise the original request

None of us are above the law

Yours faithfully,

Mel Kelly

Department for Education

Dear Mrs Kelly,
Thank you for your reminder email regarding your FOI request (case number
2013/0014819). 
 
I apologies for the delay in our response but we are checking who holds
the information that you have requested.  Your request is still being
looked at and as soon as we have the information we will respond to your
query.

Please accept my apologies for the delay with this.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0023288. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Anita Hathaway
EFA Capital
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/

Dear Department for Education

Ref 2013/0014819,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Education's handling of my FOI request 'School Title Deeds and School Land Title Deeds'.

I first put in my request on 1st Feb, revised 3rd March regarding where are the title deeds for the schools and school land that Michael Gove has taken from English councils.

It is now over 4 months since my initial request and over 3 months since my revised request and the fact the Department of Education used the Academies Bill to sieze title deeds worth £billions from English councils and their official reply is they don't know who holds the information on them now is scadelous to say the least

As councils have held these title deeds securely for many years on behalf of taxpayers (because they are important extremely valuable documents) it demonstrates exactly why the department of education should not have been entrusted with the power to sieze these title deeds when immediately on siezing them for some reason they cannot tell us where they are and who has got them and how they got them

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

Yours faithfully,

Mel Kelly

Department for Education

Dear Mrs Kelly,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 3^rd
March.  I apologise for the delay in responding to you.  As outlined in
our response of 25^th April, we were checking whether this information was
held by the department.
You requested:

o Can you advise the total value of the title deeds for schools and land
transferred to Ark Schools (and related ARK Companies);
o What is the value of the title deeds for each school;
o What is the value of the title deeds for any land transferred to Ark
Schools and their related companies;
o How many schools does Ark hold the title deeds for and which council
did the title deeds transfer from in each case for each school
converted to an Ark Academy. 

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

Following a search of the Department’s paper and electronic records, I
have established that the information you requested is not held by this
Department.  We suggest that you could ask ARK for this information.  I
should also point out that the freehold on the land does not in general
transfer to academy trusts unless the predecessor school was a foundation
school. 

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

Yours sincerely,

Anita Hathaway
EFA Capital
[email address]
[1]www.education.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/

FGMJ left an annotation ()

Why not ask the relevant local authority if they have transferred title of any land (as they are the actual owners)?

Mel Kelly left an annotation ()

Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately as I work full time I don't have time to write and track FOI requests to every council in England (much as I would like to) for every single school converted to an academy in England - but I do believe as Michael Gove demanded the title deeds be handed over to him - he should produce the evidence of where they are now - as we are talking about £billions in state assets - where title deeds have been held safely by councils for decades - and now Michael Gove has grabbed them and immediately cannot tell us where they.

The worst of it is this academies business model appears to be the exact same as the Southern Cross one - and I think it is likely very soon, as the Academy companies have been handed the title deeds for the schools (free) - they will start selling the school buildings (to their friends cheap) - and then sign deals to rent them back for colossal rents (with the money from the sale of the schools transferred to the Cayman Islands (as that is Ark Schools policy for "excess funds")

Then the company goes bust and is only liable to pay £10 compensation while their friends now rent back the schools we owned before the coalition - just like Southern Cross - only this time it will be our kids shuffled from pillar to post instead of care home residents

waterleat left an annotation ()

I had asked similar request about academies in sussex . the reply said academies were to pay peppercorn rent but at no monetary value. They get it for 125 years.
I had assumed that title still was with county councils. Perhaps I should have asked that, will you do it.

John Edwards left an annotation ()

It is perfectly possible that they do not actually own the school lands and an analysis of their documents would reveal this hence the lack of transparency .Good luck, remember pandoras box