SEND staffing in the LA

Eleanor Bernardes made this Freedom of Information request to East Sussex County 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 partially successful.

Eleanor Bernardes

Dear East Sussex County Council,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please send me:
1. The number of full time equivalent members of staff employed centrally by the council with responsibility for Special Educational Needs (SEN/SEND) during each of the years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 in the following:
a. working with more than one LA school and based in a Local Authority office
b. working with more than one LA school and based elsewhere
c. working in one LA school for that school
2. The numbers of full time equivalent members of staff who are dyslexia and literacy specialists employed by the council in each of the following years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 in the following:
a. working with more than one LA school and based in a Local Authority office
b. working with more than one LA school and based elsewhere
c. working in one LA school for that school
3. The amount of hours contracted to external specialists (for example but not limited to consultants/educational psychologists etc) employed by the council in each of the following years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
4. The job specification for the person responsible for:
a. Managing SEN/D provision for the LA
b. Compiling the Local Offer for the LA
5. The qualifications held by the person responsible for the following role in each of the following years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015:
a. Managing SEN/D provision for the LA
b. Compiling the Local Offer for the LA

I would like the above information to be provided to me electronically.
If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters. If any of this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.
If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully
Eleanor Bernardes

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Ms Bernardes

 

FOI Request ref: 5859 / Staff employed with responsibility for SEN

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above. Your request
was received on 21/7/2015 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We always aim to respond as quickly as possible, and in this case will do
so no later than 18/8/2015, which is the 20 working day deadline. The
deadline is counted from the first working day we receive it, not the date
a letter is written / posted or an email sent.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we proceed in dealing with your request.

Please quote the above reference number in any communication regarding
this request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Amilia Holland

Customer Information Adviser

 

East Sussex County Council

Communities Economy and Transport Directorate

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [1][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [2]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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References

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2. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

3 Attachments

 

Dear Ms Bernardes

 

FOI Request ref: 5859 / Staff employed with responsibility for SEN

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above, which has been
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
Your request and our response are set out below. Please note that any
information we provide is subject to the copyright and reuse of
information terms and conditions set out at the bottom of this email.

 

REQUEST

 

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to
which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please send me:

1.            The number of full time equivalent members of staff employed
centrally by the council with responsibility for Special Educational Needs
(SEN/SEND) during each of the years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 in
the following:

a.            working with more than one LA school and based in a Local
Authority office

b.            working with more than one LA school and based elsewhere

c.             working in one LA school for that school

2.            The numbers of full time equivalent members of staff who are
dyslexia and literacy specialists employed by the council in each of the
following years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 in the following:

a.            working with more than one LA school and based in a Local
Authority office

b.            working with more than one LA school and based elsewhere

c.             working in one LA school for that school

3.            The amount of hours contracted to external specialists (for
example but not limited to consultants/educational psychologists etc)
employed by the council in each of the following years: 2010, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015

4.            The job specification for the person responsible for:

a.            Managing SEN/D provision for the LA

b.            Compiling the Local Offer for the LA

5.            The qualifications held by the person responsible for the
following role in each of the following years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
2014, 2015:

a.            Managing SEN/D provision for the LA

b.            Compiling the Local Offer for the LA

 

I would like the above information to be provided to me electronically.

 

RESPONSE

 

1 and 2

At present we are unable to provide answers to Q1 and 2.

 

We are unable to clearly define staff specifically responsible for Special
Educational Needs but could report more widely on what we have in the
structure as SEN teams. However these teams will have a wider brief than
has been requested.

 

No information is held on which centrally based staff work in schools so
the break down required for Q1a and 1b is not held.

 

If you could define what job roles you are interested in (for example
SENCo, INA) we could answer Q1c.

 

For Q2 we are unable to define dyslexia and literacy specialists as we
have a more generic style of job title which do not indicate specialisms.
The process of checking individual job descriptions would exceed the
appropriate cost limit for FOIA requests. (please see Q3 below)

 

3

Section 12 FOIA 2000 provides that a public authority is not obliged to
comply with a request for information if it estimates that meeting the
request would exceed the appropriate cost limit.  This ‘appropriate limit’
is set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. The ‘appropriate limit’ for non Central
Government public authorities is currently set at £450. In relation to
staff time, this is calculated at a rate of £25 per member of staff per
hour. This effectively equates to a time limit of 18 staff hours.

 

To ensure an effective assessment of the time it would take to respond to
your request, I have asked the relevant officer to estimate how long it
would take for them to identify and locate the information you seek. To
gather the required information regarding hours spent on external
specialists for just one cost code for one year would take on average 2
hours as it would require every invoice to be retrieved and reviewed. Due
to various reorganisations over the years there are circa. 50 cost centres
that would need interrogating and so the total time estimated to answer
this question would be 100 hours per year (2hrs x 50 cost centres). The
estimate for responding to your request exceeds 18 hours and therefore
exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’. Where a public authority estimates that
responding to the request would exceed the appropriate limit, there is no
obligation on the public authority to carry out searches up to the 18 hour
limit.  Section 12 effectively removes the information from the scope of
the duty to disclose altogether. I am therefore refusing this part of your
request under the provisions of Section 12 FOIA 2000.

 

Under the terms of the FOIA 2000 you are entitled to refine the
information that you are seeking.  The County Council would then
reconsider the request to determine whether it could provide the
information within the appropriate limit.

 

4

Please find attached Job Specification for the Head of SEND Assessment and
Planning and  Job Specifications for the Local Offer Development Manager
and the SEND Joint Commissioning              Manager which has
responsibility for this post.

 

5

We have considered your request for the qualifications of these staff, and
have determined that this information is personal data, as defined by
Section 1 Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). We have concluded that our staff
would have a reasonable expectation that this information about them would
not be published and therefore to do so would be unfair. Unfair processing
of personal data would breach the Principles of the DPA. This information
is therefore exempt from disclosure by Section 40(2) FOIA and we will not
provide it.

 

 

I hope that this answers your enquiry. If you believe that the County
Council has not complied with the FOI Act in responding to your request,
you may ask for an internal review. If you wish to do so, please set out
the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

Philip Baker, Assistant Chief Executive, East Sussex County Council,
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1UE.

or by email to him at [1][email address]

 

Please quote the FOI reference number in any communication regarding this
particular request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the County Council’s internal review procedure
as described in the previous paragraph. The Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113.  [2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jeremy Coleman

Customer Information Officer

East Sussex County Council

Communities, Economy and Transport

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913

email: [3][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [4]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
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mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[East Sussex County Council request email]
4. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi