SEND staffing in the LA

Eleanor Bernardes made this Freedom of Information request to Lancashire 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 refused by Lancashire County Council.

Eleanor Bernardes

Dear Lancashire 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, Lancashire County Council

 

Dear Ms Bernardes,

 

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 21/07/15, in which
you request the disclosure of information under the provisions of the
above Act.

 

I can confirm that your enquiry will now be assigned to an officer who
will commence a search for the information you require and they will
respond in due course. The deadline date for issuing you with full
response is 18/08/15. We will endeavour to provide a response well in
advance of this date, however, should we envisage any delays, or require
more details from you, we will contact you immediately.

 

If you have any queries about the above, please do not hesitate to contact
us, quoting ref. 876.896

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Team

Lancashire County Council

Tel. 01772 531116

[1]www.lancashire.gov.uk

 

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Freedom of Information, Lancashire County Council

Dear Ms Bernardes

 

I write further to your email of 21 July, in which you request the
disclosure of information under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act; I am now in a position to respond.

 

I have contacted colleagues in the relevant departments who have advised
me that collating the information you have requested would require a
commitment of resources in excess of the limit of £450 set by the Freedom
of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004 (SI No. 3244 of 2004), which equates to 18 hours of work.
Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act provides that a public
authority is not obliged to comply with a request where to do so would
exceed such a limit.

 

As such, your request is refused by virtue of section 12(1) of the Act. 
You may wish to resubmit a refined request with a reduced scope which we
would be happy to consider.  However, I should also point out that, in
addition to talking over 18 hours, colleagues were unclear about some
aspects of your request; for example:

 

·         It is unclear what you mean by "members of staff employed
centrally by the council" – does this mean only those employees who are
based in County Council teams, or does it also include school-based staff,
with the exclusion of external consultants etc.? In a sub-question you
query staff working in one school "for that school"; please note that
schools are separate public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (as per Part IV of Schedule 1 to the Act), and
therefore the County Council would not hold any information about
individuals employed directly by schools.

 

·         Also, some employees may be considered to have "responsibility
for SEND" who are not frontline practitioners; for example, business
support/admin/ICT support staff.  Should these employees be included?

 

·         At question 3 you ask for information about the "amount of hours
contracted to external specialists (for example but not limited to
consultants/educational psychologists etc.) employed by the council"; as
phrased the scope of this request would encompass all "external
specialists" contracted by the County Council and would in itself exceed
the appropriate limit as referred to above.  Even if limited purely to any
such "external specialists" contracted by the SEND team this would require
clarity, as some such specialists may have been contracted to oversee
internal reorganisation/restructure which would have limited (if any)
impact upon frontline service delivery.

 

·         Finally, at question 5 you request details of the qualifications
held by particular employees.  Regardless of the fact that the County
Council would not hold information about all qualifications held by its
employees, any such information that is held about employee qualifications
would comprise their personal data; in all but the most unusual of cases
(of which this is not one), such information would be absolutely exempt
from disclosure into the public domain under section 40(2) of the Act on
the grounds that such disclosure would be unfair, and thus a breach of the
first data protection principle as set out at schedule 1 to the Data
Protection Act 1998.

 

In light of this, if you do choose to resubmit a modified request, please
can you ensure that all questions are as clear as possible to ensure that
we are able to process your request as efficiently as possible?

 

In the event that you wish to complain about the manner in which your
enquiry has been handled, you should write in the first instance to The
Freedom of Information Officer, Lancashire County Council, PO Box 78,
County Hall, Preston PR1 8XJ, or email
[1][Lancashire County Council request email] and the matter will be referred
to the Head of Information Governance for review and reconsideration.

 

If, after this stage, you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer
the matter to the Information Commissioner, whose contact details are as
follows:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Email: [2][email address]

Website: [3]http://www.ico.org.uk

 

If you have any queries regarding any of the above, or you require any
additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Miss S Patel

Access to Information Officer

Information Governance Team

Lancashire County Council

Tel: 01772 (5) 31116

 

[4]www.lancashire.gov.uk

 

Learn something new this autumn with an [5]adult learning course .

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