Dear Leicester City Council,
Decision-making under the Education Act
I write with the following requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act. The questions relate to your statutory powers of decision-making under the Education Act 1996.
1. Who is the statutory decision-maker?
Please confirm who is responsible for exercising statutory decision-making powers on behalf of your authority under the Education Act. These powers include, but are not limited to, the responsibility for agreeing to statutory assessments of SEN and for making decisions on the issue of, or provision in, a statement.
2. Is information about the decision-maker shared with parents?
Please confirm whether the identity of the person/persons responsible for decision-making under the Education Act is explicitly communicated to the parents,i.e. are parents told that a specific person or body will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the authority?
If it is, please confirm how this is done.
If it is not done, please explain why.
3. Do you have a SEN Panel?
If your local authority utilises a SEN Panel system, please confirm its role and its place within the statutory SEN system.
Please confirm who sits on the Panel and how they are appointed.
Please also confirm whether the role of the SEN is communicated to parents and, if so, how this is done.
If this is not done, please explain why.
4. Is your SEN Panel the statutory decision-maker?
Does your SEN Panel make statutory decisions about the provision in or the issue of a statement?
If it does, is any oversight exercised in relation to the panel by executive officers of the authority or by elected members?
Please confirm whether parents or parental representatives may attend meetings which make decisions about their child.
If your SEN Panel has a decision-making role, please confirm whether information about the identity of those making the decisions is shared with parents.
Please confirm whether SEN Panel meetings are minuted. If they are minuted, is the decision-making process or just the decision recorded? Is this information available to parents? If so, how is it made available, e.g. does it have to be requested under the FOI Act?
If your SEN Panel exercises statutory powers of decision-making under the Education Act but does not minute its meetings or record its decision-making or share these decisions with parents, please explain why.
5. Duty to explain decisions under the Education Act
Irrespective of the identity of the statutory decision-maker, please confirm how decisions on SEN issues under the Education Act (for example, about the quality or quantity of provision or undertaking a statutory assessment) are recorded and whether decision-making is then shared with parents. This question refers not to the fact of the decision but the reason for it and relates to the guidance set out in para 8.32 in respect of decision-making.
Para 8:32 of SEN COP, advises local authorities, in the event of an evidential dispute about the nature or quantity of provision, to resolve and give reasons for their conclusions on the choice of opinions or evidence. How does your authority comply with this statutory guidance? If it does not, please explain why.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs [name removed]
Dear Mrs [name removed]
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST
Thank you for your request for information, which was received by
Leicester City Council on 11th December 2011.
Your request for information is being considered and you will receive the
information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as
defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information
not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.
If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font
size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large
print, etc. then please let me know.
For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions that may
prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an
assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the
information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the
case, including your rights of appeal.
If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to
release the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.
There may be a fee payable for this information. This will be considered
and you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must
be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working
day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.
If you are dissatisfied with the way your request has or is being handled,
you may submit a complaint in writing, either manually or by e-mail with
sufficient details of why you are unhappy with the Council’s processes or
decision and what outcome you are seeking with your full contact details,
addressed to the:
Head of Information Governance
Leicester City Council
New Walk Centre
LEICESTER LE1 6ZG
E-mail: [email address]
Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 01625 545 700
If you have any queries or concerns regarding the above, please do not
hesitate to contact me.
Tel: 0116 2527742
Dear Mrs [name removed]
Please find attached Leicester City Council’s response to your recent
Freedom of Information request.
Information Governance Manager
Information Governance Team
External Tel: 0116 252 7028
Internal Tel: 29 7028
Email: [email address]
1. mailto:[email address]
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