Summary of Data on which the Badman review report is based

The request was refused by Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please supply:

1. The 90 responses from LAs to the local authority questionnaire (Annex D of Graham Badman's report).

2. The 25 responses from LAs to the second local authority questionnaire (supplied by you in correspondence reference number 2009/0067219, http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ba...).

3. The whole of the Annex to the report, of which parts 1 and 5 have been released (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lo...).

Yours faithfully,

Shena Deuchars

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Deuchars,

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible (where a response is required). For information, the
departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses
should be sent within 15 working days or 20 working days if you are
requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0073770

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I also intended to ask for the statistical summary of the yes/no/not sure answers to the 90-question questionnaire.

Yours faithfully,

Shena Deuchars

Department for Children, Schools and Families

1 Attachment

Dear Ms
Deuchars,
Your Ref: 2009/0074510
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 26 August 2009.

Before answering your request I should like to apologise for the considerable delay in replying. The
Department is aware that it has missed the statutory deadline for reply and is in breach of its
obligations under the Act. I very much regret this - the Department should meet its obligations under the
Act. While I appreciate that it is in no way a justification I should like to explain that the
Department makes every effort to meet deadlines, but the delay in responding in this case has been due to
the unusual volume of requests the Department has received in recent months. The Information Commissioner
has been informed of the situation.

You requested the following -

I also intended to ask for the statistical summary of the
yes/no/not sure answers to the 90-question questionnaire.

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

The questionnaire sent to Local Authorities in which 90 made a return had 11 questions where respondents
could make a yes/no/don't know answer. I attach the questions and results for your attention.

The information supplied to you is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Any
documents produced by government officials will be covered by Crown Copyright. You are free to use the
information for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the
purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would require the
permission of the copyright holder and is regulated by the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations
2005. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright at:

Office of Public Sector Information
Information Policy Team
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU

Email: [1][email address]

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,

Lisa White
[2]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0074510.

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

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Deuchars,
Thank you for your email request which we received on 24 August. Before dealing with your request I
should like to apologise for the considerable delay in replying. While I appreciate that it is in no
way a justification I should like to explain that the Department makes every effort to meet deadlines,
but the delay in responding in this case has been due to the unusual volume of requests the Department
has received in recent months.

You requested -

Please supply:

1. The 90 responses from LAs to the local authority questionnaire
(Annex D of Graham Badman's report).

2. The 25 responses from LAs to the second local authority
questionnaire (supplied by you in correspondence reference number
2009/0067219,
[1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ba...).

3. The whole of the Annex to the report, of which parts 1 and 5
have been released
([2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lo...).

The Department has considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act").

Request number 3 - I shall deal with your third request first.

You have asked for a copy of the whole of the annex to the report, of which parts 1 and 5 have been
released. It may help if I explain that the annex which was attached to an earlier FOI request, is an
annex to the Department's reply to that correspondent and not an annex provided by Graham Badman as
part of his report. Parts 1 and 5 of the annex to the Department's reply are taken from a working
paper which contained a summary of the information received from both the first and second
questionnaires sent to local authorities. Please note this is a working paper and it has not been
quality assured for publication.

Under section 21 of the Act, the Department is not required to provide information in response to a
request if it is already reasonably accessible to you. You may be aware that we have placed some
information, previously disclosed to correspondents about the home education review, onto the
disclosure log on the Freedom of Information link on the front page of the Department's internet site
([3]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/foischeme/ ). The working paper is available on the disclosure log at
[4]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/foischeme/subPage...

The information supplied to you is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 - please
see the information at the end of this reply.

Requests 1 and 2.

The Department holds additional information within the scope of numbers 1 and 2 of your request but it
is being withheld because the following exemptions apply to this information:

- Section 36 (2) (b and c) and

- Section 38

- Section 40

Section 36 is engaged because the disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice
the effective conduct of public affairs and inhibit the free and frank provision of advice and exchange
of views for the purposes of deliberation. As required under the Act, the opinion of the Department's
`qualified person' (a Minister) has been obtained to the effect that the exemption is engaged.

The Department considers that section 36 is engaged in respect of the whole of the information you have
requested. This exemption requires public interest balancing tests and we have considered the
arguments for and against release and in our view the balance of public interest falls in favour of
withholding this information.

The Department recognises that there is a high public interest in holding public authorities
accountable for their performance, particularly in the protection of the most vulnerable members of
society, and there are strong arguments that scrutiny of public sector performance drives up standards.
It also recognises that rather than inhibiting the frank provision of advice, disclosure may under
certain circumstances enhance the quality of advice, and the Department also takes the view that an
informed public debate has the potential to influence policy and perhaps to result in the
reprioritisation of resources.

Conversely the paramount public interest lies in ensuring that the review process is an effective
method of identifying the lessons that need to be learned as swiftly as possible, and this can only be
done when participating professionals have the necessary space and assurance of confidentiality in
order freely and frankly to provide advice, information and exchange views.

In particular the Department considered that:

. Local authorities were under no obligation to provide us with responses to the questionnaire
or to assist further by providing additional information, including case studies or interviews, to the
review team. Were we to release the information requested, they might not be willing to provide us
with information in the future and our ability to understand the real picture as experienced by
home-educated children and the parents and professionals supporting them would be greatly reduced.
Future policy-making would be based on an incomplete understanding of actual practice, and its
effectiveness would be greatly reduced.

. The relationship between the Department and local authorities is based on trust and the
ability to have a frank dialogue about important issues. We believe that releasing the responses could
result in local authorities feeling this had broken the trust that they have with the Department.

. Disclosure is likely to inhibit the participation of professionals in future cases who may
have worries that the information could be used to direct public criticism or worse at individuals.

. The publication of this information in whole or in part may be seen as a precedent in other
cases, and this is likely seriously to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice with the
consequences that future independent reviews will be unable to fulfil their original purpose and secure
open and full participation of relevant agencies and their staff;

. Release is also likely to prejudice the free and frank exchange of views for the purpose of
deliberation with the consequences that submissions and reviews of this nature will be unlikely to
fulfil their purpose of improving education provision and safeguarding, and ensuring that lessons can
be learned.

. Release would also mean that it would be necessary to create new processes for commissioning,
carrying out and drafting submissions and reviews of this nature. This would attract significant
resource and administration pressures.

Section 38(1)(a) and (b), provides that information is exempt if its disclosure under the Act would, or
would be likely, to

(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual; or

(b) endanger the safety of any individual.

This exemption is subject to the public interest test which means that even where prejudice or likely
prejudice can be demonstrated, it is still necessary to consider whether in all the circumstances of
the case the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in
disclosure. This exemption covers events that could reasonably be expected but do not have to be
definitely foreseeable. In particular the Department considered:

. The circumstances of these cases suggest a strong likelihood of risk to the health and safety
of individuals from release of the information.

. The release of anonymised information could mislead individuals or the public at large.

. Through misunderstanding, there is a likely risk to the health and safety of individuals in no
way connected with the cases or the events considered.

. Perceived risk to the health and safety of those concerned, is likely to have a deterrent
effect on families registered at risk and may deter participation in and cooperation with the
appropriate safeguarding process, leading in the longer term to increased risk to vulnerable children.

The case for disclosure of information protected by this exemption rests mainly on the desirability of
greater openness for the purposes of increasing public understanding and trust, and on encouraging
greater accountability.

Conversely, it is reasonable to expect that the release of any information which might lead to the
identification of the families of those registered as at risk might result in a deterrent effect to
participation in, and co-operation with, the appropriate safeguarding processes in the future, leading
to increased risk to vulnerable children. It is also reasonable not to release information that may
lead to the identification or possibly to misidentification of individuals. The most effective
precaution which could be taken to prevent anticipated danger to individuals lies in not disclosing
information which could put them at risk.

Having carried out the public interest balancing tests in respect of the exemptions at sections 36 and
38, the Department takes the view that it is not in the public interest for the information you have
requested, namely the responses from the 90 and 25 local authorities respectively, to be released.

Section 40. Having carefully reviewed the information in scope of your request, the Department
considers that the absolute exemption at section 40 of the Act is engaged because some of information
requested constitutes personal data, disclosure of which would contravene the data protection
principles. Data are `personal data' if, taken with `other information' they enable a living individual
to whom the data relates to be identified.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote our reference
number in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, you should write to me within two calendar months of the
date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our
complaints/review procedure.

The information supplied to you is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Any
documents produced by government officials will be covered by Crown Copyright. You are free to use the
information for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the
purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would require the
permission of the copyright holder and is regulated by the Reuse of Public Sector Information
Regulations 2005. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright at:

Office of Public Sector Information
Information Policy Team
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU

Email: [5][email address]
Yours sincerely,

Josephine Bell
Independent Schools Partnerships and Strategy Team
[email address]
[6]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0073770.

show quoted sections

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

References

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ba...
2. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lo...
3. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/foischeme/
4. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/foischeme/subPage...
5. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
6. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/