The Secretary of State's letter to schools regarding female genital mutilation

Martin Bentham made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

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 successful.

Martin Bentham

Dear Department for Education,

My request relates to the letter sent by email in April this year by the Secretary of State to schools on the subject of female genital mutilation and the safeguarding measures that should be used to prevent or detect the practice.
During a hearing of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday April 29th, the education minister Edward Timpson referred to the "opening rate" of this email containing Mr Gove's letter.

My request for information is as follows:

1. How many schools were sent the email containing Mr Gove's letter and what was the overall "opening rate" figure referred to by Mr Timpson?

2. How many actual schools does this equate to in raw numbers? Conversely, how many schools have not opened the email containing the letter?

3. Please also provide a breakdown for London schools as a whole of the opening and non-opening rates of the email by schools in the capital and the numbers of actual schools opening and not opening the email.

4. Similarly, please provide a breakdown for each London borough of the opening and non-opening rates of the email by schools in each borough and the numbers of actual schools in the boroughs opening and not opening the email.

Thank you very much.

Department for Education

Dear Mr Bentham

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0034538.

Thank you

Department for Education
Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Tel: 0370 000 2288

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Department for Education

Dear Mr Bentham,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 1 May
2014.  You requested the information in (1) to (4) below.

“1. How many schools were sent the email containing Mr Gove's letter and
what was the overall "opening rate" figure referred to by Mr Timpson?

2. How many actual schools does this equate to in raw numbers? Conversely,
how many schools have not opened the email containing the letter?

3. Please also provide a breakdown for London schools as a whole of the
opening and non-opening rates of the email by schools in the capital and
the numbers of actual schools opening and not opening the email.

4. Similarly, please provide a breakdown for each London borough of the
opening and non-opening rates of the email by schools in each borough and
the numbers of actual schools in the boroughs opening and not opening the
email.”

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

The information requested is set out below.  The format is slightly
different from that in your request because of the way we record the
information, but I believe it provides the information you requested.

Your points (1) and (2) are covered by the reply on 6 May from
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Edward Timpson MP, to a written
question from Keith Vaz MP.  I quote the whole answer below as the broader
information included may provide useful context.

The answer was:

“On 3 April, the Department for Education published updated statutory
guidance on safeguarding, “Keeping Children Safe in Education”. On the
same day, we e-mailed all headteachers a letter from the Secretary of
State drawing their attention to the guidance. We will be publishing this
on the website in due course.
 
The letter was e-mailed to 31,660 addressees in 25,035 schools. As of 30
April, 13,285 (43.1%) recipients had opened the e-mail, and 9,402 (30.5%)
recipients had clicked through to the guidance on safeguarding.
 
Other records show that the guidance has been seen by a greater number of
people. Between 3 and 29 April, the web page hosting the guidance received
65,729 page views. The Department also published five tweets in support of
the publication. These achieved a total reach of 639,315, and the embedded
links were clicked 755 times
 
The guidance will also be highlighted in the summer term 2014 schools’
e-mail and Need to Know timelines that will be sent to all schools in May.
Schools can also access relevant information through social media, and
messages from the Education Funding Agency and the National College for
Teaching and Leadership. The Department also sends regular e-mails to all
local authorities.

Officials have also promoted the guidance through various stakeholder
groups that work with the Department, including the Headteacher Reference
Groups and the Education Forum; members of the latter include chairs of
local safeguarding children boards. And they have written to head and
teacher unions who met Ministers in January to discuss female genital
mutilation and broader safeguarding issues.”

The Secretary of State’s letter to headteachers has now been uploaded, and
can be found at [1]SofS to heads on safeguarding April 2014.

The information requested in your points (3) and (4) is in the table
below.

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|LOCAL AUTHORITY |NUMBER OF SCHOOLS TO |NUMBER (%)|NUMBER (%) |
| |WHICH EMAILS WERE SENT|OPENED |CLICKED THROUGH|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Barking and Dagenham | 53| 9 (17)| 7 (13)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Barnet | 153| 87 (57)| 65 (42)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Bexley | 78| 55 (71)| 49 (63)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Brent | 97| 50 (52)| 40 (41)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Bromley | 107| 65 (61)| 57 (53)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Camden | 93| 45 (48)| 37 (40)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|City of London | 5| 1 (20)| 1 (20)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Croydon | 136| 80 (59)| 65 (48)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Ealing | 109| 51 (47)| 40 (37)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Enfield | 8| 54 (55)| 42 (43)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Greenwich | 101| 55 (54)| 39 (39)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Hackney | 91| 35 (38)| 23 (25)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Hammersmith and Fulham| 76| 41 (54)| 31 (41)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Haringey | 90| 44 (49)| 33 (37)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Harrow | 79| 36 (46)| 31 (39)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Havering | 88| 52 (59)| 43 (49)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Hillingdon | 100| 25 (25)| 17 (17)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Hounslow | 85| 47 (55)| 38 (45)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Islington | 66| 36 (55)| 29 (44)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Kensington and Chelsea| 71| 34 (48)| 27 (38)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Kingston-upon-Thames | 53| 33 (62)| 23 (43)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Lambeth | 97| 47 (48)| 33 (34)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Lewisham | 95| 54 (57)| 46 (48)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Merton | 67| 31 (46)| 24 (36)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Newham | 101| 50 (50)| 46 (46)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Redbridge | 95| 57 (60)| 42 (44)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Richmond | 75| 40 (53)| 29 (39)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Southwark | 105| 57 (54)| 36 (34)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Sutton | 68| 52 (76)| 38 (56)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Tower Hamlets | 114| 67 (59)| 48 (42)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Waltham Forest | 80| 41 (51)| 37 (46)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Wandsworth | 112| 56 (50)| 44 (39)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|Westminster | 84| 47 (56)| 38 (45)|
|----------------------+----------------------+----------+---------------|
|LONDON TOTAL | 2,922|1,534 (56)| 1,198 (45)|
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote our reference number 2014/0034538 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,

Neil Remsbery
Children's Social Care
[email address]
[2]www.gov.uk/dfe

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