Workforce Numbers - 2015/16 to 2018/19

Bumpy Landing Project made this Freedom of Information request to University of Exeter as part of a batch sent to 17 authorities

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 refused by University of Exeter.

Bumpy Landing Project

Dear University of Exeter,

This FOI request seeks information relating to the number of Full-Time Equivalent staff/workers at your University. Only one sub-question (Q1, iv) asks for a headcount. The rest of your response should be expessed in Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) figures.
- Please provide information on excel sheets, as an attachment to your response.
- We seek this information, in separate excel sheets, for the 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years.

WORKFORCE NUMBERS

QUESTION 1 – ACADEMIC STAFF/WORKERS FIGURES
Here we seek the total FTE (Full Time Equivalent) number of academic staff employed within each school and sub-categorised as is detailed below. These FTE figures should then be separately broken down and sub-categorised by:

(i) the number of academic FTE staff employed on *research only* contracts (so not T&S nor T&R); [again please breakdown by school]
(ii) the number of academic FTE staff employed on *teaching and research* contracts; [again please breakdown by school]
(iii) the number of academic FTE staff employed on *teaching and scholarship* contracts; [again please breakdown by school]

Headcount of workers not employed by your university engaged in teaching delivery:-
(iv) the headcount number of workers in each school who are working at your University providing teaching or teaching-related work (e.g. provision of lecture, seminar, or other teaching-related functions) but who are *not employed on research only, teaching and research, or teaching and scholarship pathways*.

[Note of clarification for Q1(iv): Individuals under this category may or may not be included within payroll, and may provide work for the school/university, across a range of contractual or quasi-contractual types. This includes students engaged on ‘framework agreements’ or ‘student experience agreements’ etc. The aim of this question is to get a comprehensive account of the numbers of people *working at* (as perhaps distinct from employed at) a Higher Education Institution. In that respect, individuals under this category can be part of arrangements that are made for hourly paid tutors, but so too can they include PGR students who are on ‘agreements’ to provide/deliver teaching/teaching related functions. *If you are unable to provide an FTE number for this specific point, please provide a headcount number instead (but please stipulate this accordingly).]

Please note that a member of staff reported under one category (e.g. (i)) should not also be reported under a further category). The aim here is to elicit information that captures the numbers of all staff working at a Higher Education Institution (whilst recognising that not all staff who do work within an HEI are officially regarded as ‘employed’).

QUESTION 2 – WORKERS ENGAGED IN TEACHING OR TEACHING RELATED WORK – HOURS
In relation to the category of worker highlighted under Q1(iv), please highlight by school/unit the total number of hours of work recorded for which this population is paid in the relevant academic year.

As noted above, please provide this information relevant for the specific academic year (i.e. 2015/16 worksheet, 2016/17 worksheet etc).

QUESTION 3 - FTE SUPPORT/ADMINISTRATION/PROFESSIONAL SERVICES NUMBERS – SCHOOL LEVEL
With respect to support staff/professional services, please provide school level staff FTE figures broken down by school (and as noted above, for each academic year separately reported by excel sheet).

QUESTION 4 - FTE STAFF NUMBERS: CENTRAL UNIVERSITY (ACADEMICS & ACADEMIC RELATED STAFF)
Where administrative and/or academic staff are unattached to a specific school, but
are employed to work within the Central University and/or directly at Faculty level please detail by each section /unit /relevant unit:
(i) the number of academic staff by FTE;
(ii) the number of PS/academic-related staff by FTE.

QUESTION 5 - RECONCILIATION – OVERALL STAFF NUMBERS
Please provide the overall FTE staff numbers working at the University.
[Please note that with the exception of Q1(iv), the totals of Questions 1 to 4 should align with these figures. Where they do not, please provide a note which highlights why (and which specific categories of staff) the figure for overall FTE staff number falls short of /exceeds those figures provided in response to Questions 1 to 4 (again, excluding Q1(iv).]

We thank you in advance for your help and look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

Bumpy Landing Project

InformationGovernance mailbox, University of Exeter

Dear Bumpy Landing Project

Thank you for your request under the information Act of 2000. Your reference number is FOI20-087

We will consider your request and respond in due course.

The data you provide to allow us to process your request is collected so that you are able to exercise your lawful rights under the Freedom of Information Act. Your personal data will be held by the Information Governance Office and shared with relevant staff as necessary.

Once a request has been completed, the relevant data will be held by the Information Governance Office for three years in line with ICO guidance, this is to ensure the University has fully carried out its requirements under the legislation.

For further information on how we process your personal data, please see: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/dataprotection/

The University should respond to your FOI request as soon as possible and no later than twenty working days after the date of receipt of the request. Should The University be required to undertake a public interest test relating to the potential application of a qualified exemption we may extend the time frame by up to twenty additional days. Please be aware that our response time takes into account the workloads of the Information Governance Office and relevant data owners and will therefore not always correlate with the complexity of the request. Should The University seek clarification any resulting time spent awaiting communication will not be counted against that time limit.

Regards,

Information Governance Officer

University of Exeter
www.exeter.ac.uk
Lafrowda House, St. German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TL

This email and any attachment may contain information that is confidential, privileged, or subject to copyright, and which may be exempt from disclosure under applicable legislation. It is intended for the addressee only. If you received this message in error, please let me know and delete the email and any attachments immediately. The University will not accept responsibility for the accuracy/completeness of this email and its attachments.

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Bumpy Landing Project

Dear InformationGovernance mailbox,
Thank you. We look forward to your response.
Yours sincerely,

Nicky Michaels
(part of the Bumpy Landing Project)

InformationGovernance mailbox, University of Exeter

1 Attachment

Dear Bumpy Landing Project,

Please find the University's response to your Freedom of Information Request attached.

Kind regards,
Information Governance Officer

University of Exeter
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/foi/summary/
Lafrowda House, St. German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TL

This email and any attachment may contain information that is confidential, privileged, or subject to copyright, and which may be exempt from disclosure under applicable legislation. It is intended for the addressee only. If you received this message in error, please let me know and delete the email and any attachments immediately. The University will not accept responsibility for the accuracy/completeness of this email and its attachments.

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Bumpy Landing Project

Dear InformationGovernance mailbox,

We seek internal review of the response of the University of Exeter to our FOI request. There are two queries to this, albeit the first (A) is more substantial.

(A) s.21 Exemption applied to aspects of the FOI request

Contrary to Exeter's response, "For question 1(i)(ii)(iii), 3 and 4 The data you have requested for past academic years is available through HESA’s custom data request scheme (https://www.hesa.ac.uk/services/custom/d...) and is therefore exempt under Section 21 of the FOIA as it is already reasonably accessible through other means", as well as the responses to Qs 2-4 which rely upon the same justification, the information sought is not available through the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

(A1) s.21 does not apply here as the substantive information sought is not reasonably accessible by other means

Section 21 can only apply to the requested information that is available by other means (London Borough of Bexley and Colin P England v Information Commissioner (EA/2006/0060 & 0066, 10 May 2007)). This is not the case here and as such, section 21 fails to apply. We are not seeking FTE staff figures by cost centre - but by school/unit as sub-categories of faculties or where appropriate, college. As Exeter will or ought to be aware, HESA (to which your university reports) produces staffing figures by cost-centres. In most cases, cost-centres do not align with schools/units. HESA data enables crude comparison across the HE sector, but in practice, most Universities are organised in ways that significantly diverge from those cost-centres. HESA therefore, does not provide the information we seek. Nor will any custom data request which draws upon HESA data. Had HESA provided a route, we would not be making this request of Exeter via the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

(A2) s.21 does not apply here by virtue of creating practical and substantial financial barriers

Even if our request had taken the form of asking for information by cost-centre (which to be clear, it doesn't), we would take issue with your interpretation of s.21. Insofar as you suggest that members of the public seeking this information can reasonably access it via a custom data request, as you will be aware the custom data set which draws on HESA data for this purpose is produced by JISC. JISC is a not-for-profit body, but it nevertheless it has a commercial mission through the delivery of digitial and data services which are delivered at considerable cost.

Critically, insofar as Exeter produces the data *for* HESA, Exeter's behaviour in referring members of the public issuing FOIs to external bodies that charge (substantial) fees for the delivery of such information, is tantamount to the creation of a substantial (and needless) financial barrier. These run counter to the very foundational premises of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and your responsibilities under it. While information available for a fee may still be considered available to the public, and reasonably accessible by alternative means, " a particularly prohibitive charge may act as a barrier as it would effectively mean that the information is not realistically available to a member of the general public" (ICO). In light of how Exeter is seeking to apply s.21 here, we doubt that the s.21 exemption would apply in these circumstances in light of the fact that the information is produced by you, and you are referring the requestor to an outside agency that applies a substantial service fee for such bespoke services (as such, the considerations that applied in Davis v Information Commissioner and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (EA/2012/0175, 24 · January 2013), would not apply here).

Summary:
Nevertheless, as noted, the information we seek from you, which we are aware will be easily accessible through your relevant Human Resources datasets, is not available in the way that you suggest - via HESA/JISC. On this basis we return to you for this information - albeit, challenged via internal review.

B) Query/Clarification sought: Data not held centrally in respect of Qs 1iv - 2
In response to your response, "For questions 1iv – 2 the data is not held centrally. For the University to establish the requested data it would be necessary to contact all relevant departments and scrutinise all invoices to determine accurate data. It would take the University over eighteen hours to establish accurate data, this would take over the cost limit which is proscribed by section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act" , we would be grateful if you could confirm then that you do not collect details via your HR/procurement datasets of those that you employ on casualised contracts.

We should note that other Higher Education Institutions have already complied with the same requests, and appear to have had little difficulty in doing so. At this stage, we are sending this response through internal review and will pursue further recourse with ICO should that be necessary.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Nicky Michaels
Bumpy Landing Project

InformationGovernance mailbox, University of Exeter

Good Afternoon,

Would you please supply your FOI20 - ref number so I can appoint an internal reviewer please.

If we do not receive a response within 40 working days we will consider your request to be closed. If you respond after that period we will consider it to be a new request and process it accordingly.

Kind regards,
Information Governance Officer

University of Exeter
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/foi/summary/
Lafrowda House, St. German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TL

This email and any attachment may contain information that is confidential, privileged, or subject to copyright, and which may be exempt from disclosure under applicable legislation. It is intended for the addressee only. If you received this message in error, please let me know and delete the email and any attachments immediately. The University will not accept responsibility for the accuracy/completeness of this email and its attachments.

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InformationGovernance mailbox, University of Exeter

Dear Bumpy Landing Project

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by current global events there may be some delay in responding to your information request. Following the guidance from the ICO the Information Governance Team continue to work to the timelines set out in law however while the University transitions to new working practices there may be some delays to the responses we receive from data owners and other colleagues across the organisation.

To avoid any of these delays we would urge you to check public data sources including the University website, HESA, UCAS and the Research Councils. Please also ensure that your request is clearly stated so that we can ensure we are directing requests to the most appropriate areas of the business.
Kind regards,
Information Governance Officer

University of Exeter
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/foi/summary/
Lafrowda House, St. German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TL

This email and any attachment may contain information that is confidential, privileged, or subject to copyright, and which may be exempt from disclosure under applicable legislation. It is intended for the addressee only. If you received this message in error, please let me know and delete the email and any attachments immediately. The University will not accept responsibility for the accuracy/completeness of this email and its attachments.

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InformationGovernance mailbox, University of Exeter

1 Attachment

Dear Bumpy Landing Project,

Please find the University's response to your Intenal Review Request attached.

Kind regards,
Information Governance Officer

University of Exeter
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/foi/summary/
Lafrowda House, St. German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TL

This email and any attachment may contain information that is confidential, privileged, or subject to copyright, and which may be exempt from disclosure under applicable legislation. It is intended for the addressee only. If you received this message in error, please let me know and delete the email and any attachments immediately. The University will not accept responsibility for the accuracy/completeness of this email and its attachments.

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InformationGovernance mailbox, University of Exeter

1 Attachment

Dear Bumpy Landing Project,
Please find attached the Universities complaints procedure.
Kind regards,
Information Governance Officer

University of Exeter
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/foi/summary/
Lafrowda House, St. German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TL

This email and any attachment may contain information that is confidential, privileged, or subject to copyright, and which may be exempt from disclosure under applicable legislation. It is intended for the addressee only. If you received this message in error, please let me know and delete the email and any attachments immediately. The University will not accept responsibility for the accuracy/completeness of this email and its attachments.

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