We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Harvey Slater please sign in and let everyone know.

Dear De Montfort University,

1. Please explain the steps that the university took last summer, prior to the main autumn enrolment period, to comply with Paragraphs 39, 45, 46, and 52 of the following Office for Students guidance, with particular reference to obtaining consent from students for changes to the material information.

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/med...

2. Please supply a copy of the review that you were asked to carry out during the first half of the spring term of your compliance with consumer protection law, as required in this letter from the Office for Students.

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/med...

Yours faithfully,

Harvey Slater

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Harvey Slater

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University will make every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it may be
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this may impact our response times.

 

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many
organisations will face at the moment and one the Information
Commissioner’s Office have recognised.  The Information Commissioner’s
Office have advised:

 

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our
own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays
when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information
[1]here

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

 

Thank you for your email request below.

 

Your request is being considered and if the information is held 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.

 

If the time taken to meet your request is likely to exceed 18 hours, we
will contact you and ask you amend your request to bring it below this
time limit. We will assist you with suggestions of how this might be
achieved.

 

I may also contact you if the request needs to be clarified; this is to
ensure that we provide you with the information you require.

 

Please note that some information you have requested may not be provided
to you; this will only be information that can be withheld by law.  In
most cases the reasons will be explained to you along with your copy of
any information that can be released to you.

 

In order to ensure a prompt response to any communication, please ensure
that any further emails are copied to [2][De Montfort University request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [3][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

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Dear Freedom Of Information,

This is a reminder that by law you should normally have responded promptly and by 8 April 2021.

Please advise on when I might get a reply.

Yours sincerely,

Harvey Slater

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Harvey Slater

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000-INFORMATION REQUEST

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University is making every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it has been
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this has impacted our response times.

 

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many
organisations will face at the moment and one the Information
Commissioner’s Office have recognised.  The Information Commissioner’s
Office have advised:

 

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our
own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays
when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information
[1]here

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your request.

 

Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our response is as follows:

 

1. Please explain the steps that the university took last summer, prior to
the main autumn enrolment period, to comply with Paragraphs 39, 45, 46,
and 52 of the following Office for Students guidance, with particular
reference to obtaining consent from students for changes to the material
information.

[2]https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/med...

 

Response

 

The university shared information with new and continuing students via a
range of communications.  Student all-user emails, news stories and the
[3]Student Handbook explained that the university experience would involve
a blend of online and face-to-face teaching and assessment, to be
delivered within government guidelines, in order to ensure student safety
as a paramount concern; while offering as high-quality a student
experience as possible under the circumstances.

Students were advised:

 

·        A blended year would be offered: a mix of online and on-campus
teaching, and online would be a mix of asynchronous and synchronous;

·        All lectures (large-group, non-interactive) would be pre-recorded
and asynchronous;

·        All such lectures would be uploaded to Blackboard (the
university’s virtual learning environment) no later than 4pm the Thursday
of the week preceding the topic being taught;

·        All students would have regular (minimum weekly) live teaching,
on-campus or online;

·        All students would have access to lecturers/personal tutors for
live appointments, online;

·        Teaching content would be amended to ensure that programme
learning outcomes could be met in a blended environment;

·        All necessary information would be available on Blackboard.

Central communications were updated on a regular basis, informing students
that evolving government guidelines may impact the planned student
experience, particularly in relation to smaller-scale, interactive
teaching. These were echoed in programme-level information and
communications, located on Blackboard.

 

From 24 January 2020 to 16 March 2021, the central DMU communications team
sent 179 Covid-19 related teaching/safety email messages to students. The
Comms team has created several microsites to support staff and students
during the pandemic, including [4]Your DMU Future and [5]Your DMU Safety.
Combined these sites have had more than 656,000 page views to date.

 

Indications of what the changes might be in academic year 2020-21 were
included in communications, where possible, from as early as July 2020.
For example, informing students that planned face-to-face elements may
have to be converted to a virtual format, to comply with government
guidelines.  More recently, communications have informed students about
the scenario-planning that is under way, dependent on when lockdown
restrictions may be eased. 

The university has consulted with students about changes arising out of
necessity due to legal restrictions (local and national) and government
guidance, to gather views on potential mitigations available. Student
representation on the university’s Covid-19 planning group has ensured
student representatives have been directly involved in the discussions and
planning. Four student surveys have been undertaken, two in 2020 and two
in 2021, with the results directly feeding into the decisions made; for
example, to pushing back the start of the summer examination period to
accommodate additional study time. 

 

Via consultation undertaken as part of the Covid-19 planning group,
consideration has been given to the needs of students with protected
characteristics, when planning how to organise and deliver a quality
student experience in a blended and online format.  Specific consideration
has been given to the needs of disabled students, ensuring the university
could deliver both anticipatory requirements and individual reasonable
adjustments, as required by the Equality Act. This has led to the
extension of captioning, to facilitate greater access to content by
hearing impaired students.  Existing services, such as specialist support
for students in receipt of the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA), continue
to be provided in an online format.

 

Examples of student communications have been provided in the attached
document ‘Example Covid communications to students 2020-21’

 

2. Please supply a copy of the review that you were asked to carry out
during the first half of the spring term of your compliance with consumer
protection law, as required in this letter from the Office for Students.

[6]https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/med...

 

Response

 

The Office for Students requested the University to carry out during the
first half of the spring term a review of its compliance with consumer
protection law.  Such a review was undertaken, legal advice sought, and
risks assessed.  The results of the review were summarised in a report
submitted to the Board of Governors in March 2021.  The report was
identified as ‘Legally privileged and commercially confidential’.

 

The University has decided that whilst it does hold the information
requested, some of the information you have requested is refused under
section 43(2), and section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  The
University has decided that some of the information you have requested is
commercially sensitive, and that to provide it would be likely to
prejudice the commercial interests of the University or the University’s
partner organisations.  The University has decided that the vast majority
of the  information is subject to legal professional privilege which
protects the confidential communication and advice between lawyers and
their clients.

 

Commercial interests in this instance, relate to the ability to
participate in commercial activity.  The University operates in
competition with other higher education institutions in the delivery of
high quality higher education and research in a global market.  The
University recognises and supports the general public interest in
transparency (promoted by the Freedom of Information Act 2000), and of
demonstrating the best use of public resources, however disclosing details
of its student recruitment and support activities could give other
institutions an insight into our tactical approach to our operational
strategies,  and might allow other institutions to gain a competitive
advantage.

 

It is the current policy of the Government that the higher education
market should be competitive in the interests of students and the wider
public and indeed, this is why it regulates markets and anti-competitive
practices.  Prejudicing the University’s ability to compete fairly is not
in the public interest because the University is an engine of economic
growth and long-term economic resilience through its role in developing
highly-skilled knowledge workers, its research and generation of new
knowledge and intellectual advances, its contribution to the cultural
vibrancy of the region and the nation and as an employer.  The University
is also a charity and so its trustees are under a duty to avoid activities
that might place the charity’s endowment, funds, assets or reputation at
undue risk.  Taking these factors into account, the University does not
consider it to be in the public interest to disclose this information.

 

The report submitted to the Board of Governors contains legal advice and
guidance based on the information contained in the report, and whilst the
University recognises and supports the general public interest in
transparency (promoted by the Freedom of Information Act 2000), and in
assisting and reassuring the public that the university is meeting its
obligations under consumer protection law, it also recognises the need for
the University to be able to receive clear and unguarded advice from their
lawyers.  The University has also identified the substantial public
interest in maintaining the confidentiality of communication between
lawyer and client.

 

Therefore, under section 43(2) and section 42of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 the University is not providing all of the information you have
requested.

 

If you have any queries please get in touch with me to discuss them. You
might like to know that the University’s website [7]www.dmu.ac.uk contains
a section on the Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications
readily available from the University under its Publication Scheme.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [8][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

You have the right to complain to the University about this decision.  If
you wish to do this please write to:

 

Regulations and Complaints Manager

Corporate Services

0.13 Trinity House

Leicester

Telephone (0116) 257 7694

 

If you are subsequently not satisfied with the University’s response to
your complaint you have a right of appeal to the independent Information
Commissioner.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Offices are currently closed, and therefore
unable to receive correspondence via post.  Please contact the Information
Commissioner’s Office through their [9]contact page

 

Most of the information we provide in response to Freedom of Information
Act 2000 request will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases
the copyright will be owned by De Montfort University. The copyright in
other information may be owned by another person or organization as
indicated in the information itself.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will
require the permission of the copyright holder.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by the De Montfort
University, details of the conditions of re-use can be found on our
website at [10]www.dmu.ac.uk.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or
organization, you must apply to the copyright holder to obtain their
permission.

 

 

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Dear De Montfort University,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of De Montfort University's handling of my FOI request 'Student 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,

Harvey Slater

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Harvey Slater

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University will make every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it may be
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this may impact our response times.

 

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many
organisations will face at the moment and one the Information
Commissioner’s Office have recognised.  The Information Commissioner’s
Office have advised:

 

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our
own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays
when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information
[1]here

 

Thank you for your email dated 25 April 2021 in which you request an
internal review of De Montfort University’s handling of your FOI request
‘student information’.

 

I acknowledge your request. 

 

To enable us to undertake an internal review can you please clarify what
aspects of our response you wish us to review, and if you are querying the
use of exemptions, please indicate why you do not believe that the quoted
exemptions apply.

 

We aim to respond to a request for an internal review within 20 working
days; sooner if at all possible.  We will be unable to further progress
your request until we receive clarification of the above queries.  At this
point we will endeavour to provide you with a realistic date by which you
can expect a response from an internal review.

 

Regards

 

Michael

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [2][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Harvey Slater

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University will make every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it may be
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this may impact our response times.

 

It has now been more than 20 days since we contacted you for clarification
of your request for an internal review.

 

Can you please confirm if you would still like us to undertake an internal
review.  To enable us to undertake an internal review can you please
clarify what aspects of our response you wish us to review, and if you are
querying the use of exemptions, please indicate why you do not believe
that the quoted exemptions apply.

 

We aim to respond to a request for an internal review within 20 working
days; sooner if at all possible.  We will be unable to further progress
your request until we receive clarification of the above queries.  At this
point we will endeavour to provide you with a realistic date by which you
can expect a response from an internal review.

 

If we do not receive any response to this email within a further 20 days
we will assume that you do not want us to undertake an internal review and
we will consider the request as withdrawn.

 

Regards

 

Michael

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [1][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

 

 

From: Freedom Of Information <[De Montfort University request email]>
Sent: 28 April 2021 15:52
To: Harvey Slater <[FOI #734553 email]>
Cc: Freedom Of Information <[De Montfort University request email]>
Subject: RE: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Student
information (Ref 1527)

 

Dear Harvey Slater

 

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, while De Montfort University will make every effort to comply
with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General
Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it may be
necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and
safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance
and information rights work, and this may impact our response times.

 

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many
organisations will face at the moment and one the Information
Commissioner’s Office have recognised.  The Information Commissioner’s
Office have advised:

 

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our
own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays
when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information
[2]here

 

Thank you for your email dated 25 April 2021 in which you request an
internal review of De Montfort University’s handling of your FOI request
‘student information’.

 

I acknowledge your request. 

 

To enable us to undertake an internal review can you please clarify what
aspects of our response you wish us to review, and if you are querying the
use of exemptions, please indicate why you do not believe that the quoted
exemptions apply.

 

We aim to respond to a request for an internal review within 20 working
days; sooner if at all possible.  We will be unable to further progress
your request until we receive clarification of the above queries.  At this
point we will endeavour to provide you with a realistic date by which you
can expect a response from an internal review.

 

Regards

 

Michael

 

Michael Davies

 

Information Governance Officer

Governance and Legal

 

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway

Leicester

LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6513

E: [3][email address]

W: dmu.ac.uk

 

 

 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Harvey Slater please sign in and let everyone know.