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Are schools bound by the Freedom of Information Act?

(21 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 10:22:24

I mean, could I ask to see a copy of some of their Self Evaluation Frameworks?

Many tia

chill1243 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:36:15

Starlight, its a good question. Off the cuff I dont know the answer.

I see press reports on various things saying "info obtained from Freedom of Information" I cannot say I have noticed one such on school matters.

I once contacted the police and I know doctors are covered by FIA

But everyone is allowed to put some restrictions on what info they give.

scaevola Wed 14-Sep-11 11:45:25

I think (but am not sure) that state schools would be (government funded) but that private schools may not.

You are not however entitled to see personal data relating to another individual (other than yourself or your legal dependents), so I think the best you will get will be a blank pro forma and the notes on how one is to be filled in.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 11:49:32

Do sefs have individual data on them then?

I thought they were more general than that. I mean the data often relates to specific children or teachers but I didn't know the names were on them.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:08:17

why would you WANT to?
they are meaningless box ticking - I know, I did them regularly when I was a governor
they were an excuse for inaction

scaevola Wed 14-Sep-11 12:12:35

A completed form is bound to have personal data on it, in identifiable form, otherwise what would be the point?

The people in question would be easily identified, even if name removed, because the contents would refer continually to their activities. Personal performance information will be confidential - whether written by yourself, your colleagues (in a 360) or your boss.

MrsCurly Wed 14-Sep-11 12:13:45

State schools, including academies and free schools are. Private schools are not.

prh47bridge Wed 14-Sep-11 12:44:40

scaevola - You misunderstand the nature of the form. The "self" being evaluated is the school, not an individual member of staff.

OP - Yes you would be entitled to see it under Freedom of Information for state schools but not for private/independent schools.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 12:49:09

Thank you prh.

TalkIn I want to see what the school is saying about itself and what improvements/targets it has set itself.

I want to use the information for a negotiation with the Head Teacher, - possibly.

scaevola Wed 14-Sep-11 12:58:52

Oh, I see!

You'll probably find you still get a heavily edited version - anything that is identifiable to an individual will have to be taken out.

IndigoBell Wed 14-Sep-11 13:29:42

There is nothing on a SEF that identifies a person, either a pupil or staff.

It is all totally bland and fit for general consumption.

It's main audience is the Govs and OFSTED. And the Govs aren't normally allowed to see anything that identifies anyone.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 14-Sep-11 13:39:05

Starlight -
the SEF forms I did were about the school in general, not the head in particular
and as Indigo says, mainly for OFSTEDs consumption.
Whatever your issue with the head is, asking to see the SEF is unlikely to help.
A polite letter to the CofG and if no joy then to the LEA would be best
for non LEA schools you have to contact the dfe directly

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 13:49:22

Oh Blimey, I'm not trying to attack the head. Just show her that what I am saying/asking is sensible and fits in with what she is saying/wanting.

I have made a sensible request of her. She has refused it on unreasonable grounds.

CofG will most likely be next but I would like a bit more information to support my request this time in order to 'sell' it to them.

gingeroots Wed 14-Sep-11 14:59:32

Are Academies definitely covered by FOI ?

IndigoBell Wed 14-Sep-11 15:02:24

Why wouldn't they be?

They don't have to have a SEF - no school does anymore.

But they will still be bound by the FOI. That is a law that applies to everything......

prh47bridge Wed 14-Sep-11 15:28:02

gingeroots - Yes. They weren't originally but all have been covered since 1st January 2011. This was one of the changes brought in by the current government.

gingeroots Wed 14-Sep-11 22:48:27

Thanks prh47 - hard to keep up !

DanFmDorking Wed 14-Sep-11 23:58:58

If, by SEF, you mean the ‘Self Evaluation Form’ then it doesn’t exist anymore.

Michael Gove got rid of it.

chill1243 Sat 17-Sep-11 13:19:59

An apparently simple question; which was complex to answer, It seems to have been cracked now.

chill1243 Sat 17-Sep-11 13:20:57

An apparently simple question; which was complex to answer, It seems to have been cracked now.

BikeRunSki Sat 17-Sep-11 13:28:05

I have no idea about school information, but where I work (public sector), for a lot of our information and data, the Data Protection Act overules the Freedom of Information Act.

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