Total number of 4th year pupils who 'legally' leave School before completing formal Education

The request was refused by City of Edinburgh Council.

Louise Woodland

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

This is a Freedom of Information request regarding the total number of 4th year pupils who 'legally' leave School before completing formal Education.

For each year from academic year 2014-2015 to 2018-2019, I would like to know the total number of fourth year pupils who were due to complete National 3, 4 or 5 qualifications but who legally left school before finishing fourth year. I am only interested in those who were in the process of undertaking these qualifications and did not complete them, not those who would not have been presented for any of these even if they had completed fourth year.

To clarify, by “legally” I mean those children who were 16 years of age by the end of February in fourth year (in accordance with the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, section 33, sub-section 2a) who were entitled to leave due to having had their entry to primary school legally deferred (they started school at age five not four -in accordance with section 32, sub-section 3 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980).

I am trying to establish how many children who would have been presented for National 3,4 or 5 qualifications if they had continued S4, left before completing these.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs L Woodland

City of Edinburgh Council

Mrs Louise Woodland

Our ref: 23856

Dear Mrs Woodland

Acknowledgement of Request

Subject: Total number of 4th year pupils who 'legally' leave School before completing formal Education

Thank you for your request for information received on 11/06/2019. I can confirm that your request will be processed under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Environmental Information Regulations (Scotland) 2004, or the INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations 2009.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless the Council does not hold the information, or there is a reason for it to be withheld. We will write to you in any event. This means we have until 09/07/2019 to respond to your request.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case we will let you know.

If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so on, then please let me know.

If you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175....

Further information about your rights and accessing information is available on our website at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

City of Edinburgh Council

Mrs Louise Woodland

[FOI #582431 email]

Our ref: 23856

Dear Mrs Woodland

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Excessive Cost

Subject: Total number of 4th year pupils who 'legally' leave School before completing formal Education

Thank you for your request for information of 11/06/2019, where you asked the following:

For each year from academic year 2014-2015 to 2018-2019, I would like to know the total number of fourth year pupils who were due to complete National 3, 4 or 5 qualifications but who legally left school before finishing fourth year. I am only interested in those who were in the process of undertaking these qualifications and did not complete them, not those who would not have been presented for any of these even if they had completed fourth year.

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with the information you have requested as the cost to the Council of locating, retrieving and providing you with the information exceeds the statutory maximum of £600.

In order to provide the information you requested, a manual check would need to be done on all the relevant school leaver records to see if they were taking any of the qualifications described in your request. We have run a report and there were 773 school leavers aged 16 (4th year) since 2014. It is estimated that it would take around 10 minutes to locate, retrieve and provide the information for each record. Therefore, this task would take an estimated 128 hours to complete.

A local authority is allowed to charge up to £15 per hour for staff time and, based on this, the total cost of complying with your request is £1920.

Section 12 (1) of the Act does not oblige a Scottish public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the statutory limit.

The Council appreciates that you may not have been aware of the size and scope of the information that you requested the Council provide you with as a result of your request. It may be possible to provide you with a portion of the information that you are seeking. Please note that requests revised in this way are considered as new requests under the legislation. If you wish to discuss this option further, or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175...

Your right to seek a review

If you are unhappy with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review our actions and decisions by writing to the:

Head of Strategy & Insight
The City of Edinburgh Council
Waverley Court Business Centre 2:1
4, East Market Street
Edinburgh
EH8 8BG or,
Email: [email address]

Please note that your request must be in a recordable format (email, letter, audio tape etc.), and that you have 40 working days upon receipt of this letter to ask for a review. You will receive a full response to your review request within 20 working days of its receipt. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to review our decision. You must submit your complaint to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving our review response. The Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
Telephone: 01334 464610
Fax: 01334 464611
Website: www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal
Email: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Sue Brown
Information Rights Officer

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk