Tyndale Community School Oxford

Michael Ratcliffe made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Michael Ratcliffe

Dear Department for Education,

I would like a copy of completed application form for the Tyndale Community School, (now established at William Morris Close, Oxford, OX4 2JX) together with the response of the department to that application.

Could I also have a copy of the current funding agreement for the school, including agreements on capital and recuurent funding.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ratcliffe

Department for Education

Dear Mr Ratcliffe

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 2014/0052041.

Thank you

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

show quoted sections

Michael Ratcliffe

Dear Department for Education,

With reference to my request for information regarding the Tyndale Community School (reference 2014/0052041) is there an update on when the information might be available?

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ratcliffe

Dear Department for Education,

I note that it is now 20 working days since I wrote to you asking about progress in answering my FOI request (your reference 2014/0052041) which was 20 working days after I requested the information.

I understand that there has been a ruling about the kind of information that I requested: the application for a free school and its ongoing funding arrangements. There should be no need to decide whether my request is within the terms of the FOI act, and therefore the only action is for you to respond - having made any redactions of personal data.

Could I ask that you conduct an internal review as to why the information has not been forthcoming and why it has taken so long to do so?

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ratcliffe

Department for Education

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Ratcliffe,

 

Thank you for your email dated 22 July about Tyndale Community School in
which you asked the following:

 

I would like a copy of completed application form for the Tyndale
Community School, (now established at William Morris Close, Oxford, OX4
2JX) together with the response of the department to that application.

Could I also have a copy of the current funding agreement for the school,
including agreements on capital and recuurent funding.

 

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”). The department takes its responsibilities under the Act very
seriously, and always seeks to respond to enquiries openly and fully in
the spirit of the Act. I sincerely apologise for the delay in responding
and any inconvienence that it may have caused you.

 

With regard to your request for the Tyndale Community School application
form, I have attached a redacted version with this email. We also plan to
publish this application form on our website at GOV.UK later today.

 

The application form has a number of redactions under Section 40(2)
(personal data) and Section 43(2) (commercial interests) of the Act.

 

Section 40(2) is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public
interest test. Personal data is that which relates to a living individual
who can be identified from that data, or from that data and other
information which is likely to be in, or to come into, the possession of
the requestor. Disclosure of this information would contravene a number of
the data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998, and would
be regarded as ‘unfair’. By that, we mean the likely expectations of the
data subject that his or her information would not be disclosed to others
and the effect which disclosure would have on the data subject. 

 

Section 43 of the Act is a qualified exemption which means that a public
interest test needs to be carried out, and in doing so the following
factors have been taken into consideration:

 

·                     There is a public interest in the transparency of
the accountability of public funds to ensure that public money is being
used effectively, and that departments are getting value for money when
purchasing goods and services.

·                     However, there is also a public interest in ensuring
that the department is able to maintain a strong bargaining position
during negotiations.  Disclosure of certain information in the Tyndale
Community School free school application form would be likely to prejudice
the commercial interests of the department, by adversely affecting its
bargaining position and resulting in less effective use of public money.

·                     In this case, we believe that identifying
potentially suitable sites in Oxford would weaken the department’s
bargaining position, in the event it had to secure a site for another
school in the area.

·                     It is clearly in the public interest to ensure the
department receives sufficient information before entering into financial
arrangements.  Disclosure of certain information would make it less likely
that organisations or individuals would provide such information to the
department in the future.

 

The arguments for and against release have been considered and it is our
view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to some of the information
provided by the applicants. We have redacted this information from the
application form accordingly.

 

With regard to your request for the decision letter sent by the department
to the successful applicant, it was published on 12 September 2014, after
the date of your request. I have attached a copy of the letter with this
email. You can also find the letter on the GOV.UK website here:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

 

The funding agreement and recurrent funding levels have also been
published on the GOV.UK website.

 

There are two funding agreements – ‘master’ (for the Chapel Street
Community Schools Trust) and ‘supplemental’ (for Tyndale Community School)
– which are available on the Department for Education website here:
[2]http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/scho....

 

The revenue funding for Tyndale Community School is published alongside
data for other free schools on the GOV.UK website here:
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

 

With regard to your request for information about the capital funding for
Tyndale Community School this is being withheld because an exemption under
Section 22 of the Act applies. Section 22 provides for information to be
exempt from disclosure where the information is due for publication at
some future date. Section 22 of the Act is a qualified exemption which
means that a public interest test needs to be carried out, and in doing so
the following factors have been considered:

 

·                     It is acknowledged that there is a general public
interest in disclosure because of the need for there to be open and
transparent government and that the sharing of information with the public
should be free and open.

·                     However, the public interest in permitting the
Government to publish information in a manner and at a time of its own
choosing is also important. It is part of the effective conduct of public
affairs that the general publication of information is a conveniently
planned and managed activity within the reasonable control of the public
authority.

·                     The Government has already determined that it will
publish capital costs for free schools once contracts have been finalised,
on the GOV.UK website here:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

·                     It is not reasonable for the Government to be
expected to release piecemeal information in advance of its planned
timetable and planned publication, and there is a strong argument in
favour of allowing everyone to view this information at the same time. If
it were to release this information as requested on varying occasions this
would result in partial information being released over a protracted
period leading to confusion and inaccuracy.

 

The arguments for and against release have been considered and it is our
view that the balance of public interest falls in favour of the
maintenance of this exemption in relation to the capital costs.

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder.

 

Most documents produced by a government department will be protected by
Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be re-used under the
Open Government Licence
([5]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For
information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information
please see The National Archives website
[6]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
.

 

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information
about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual
Property Office’s website at [7]www.ipo.gov.uk.

 

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

I also note your email dated 19 September in which you request an internal
review. I would be grateful if you would confirm whether you still require
this in light of the information being provided to you today. Your
complaint would then 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,

 

Lakisha Pearce-Edwards

Free Schools Group

 

[8]DfE 2955 Resized for email logo v2

 

show quoted sections

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

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/scho...
3. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
4. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
5. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o... blocked::http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
6. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor... blocked::http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
7. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ blocked::http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/

Dear Department for Education,

Thank you for replying. I had requested an internal review as the department had been so very long in replying to my request for information, I note that you do not explain why it took you longer than the time allowed for FOI requests.

I do wonder whether it is necessary for the names of all people who have written in support of an application to be treated as personal data. I think this is not the intention of the data protection act, but if there is an assumption of confidentiality in the process I can see that now releasing that information would be a concern. I think we should reflect whether it is in the public interest to treat as confidential the names of people who apply to run schools.

I do not, however, wish to pursue an internal review, but I think that your assumptions should continue to be tested in the public domain.

Many thanks for the information.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ratcliffe