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Are schools bound by the Freedom of Information Act?

(11 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 10:40:02

Anyone know if I can get a copy of some of their SEFs evaluations?

willowthecat Wed 14-Sep-11 11:41:36

You can ask a public body for any information they hold on any subject of your choice - they may refuse but they have to give grounds for refusal which you can then challenge ( if you can).

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 11:43:15

Thank you willow.

Is it likely that a school refuse this information?

willowthecat Wed 14-Sep-11 12:02:06

It would be the LEA that you would have to ask - what is a SEF ?

IndigoBell Wed 14-Sep-11 12:19:08

The SEF doesn't contain any confidential information, so they shouldn't refuse.

It also probably doesn't contain any useful info smile

Nothing in it identifies individual people. It's stuff like 30% of our teachers achieved 'good', and we would like 70% of them to get 'good' this year. So we are sending 2 of them on 'satisfactory to good' courses.....

Or 'We conducted a parent survey and 83% of them think we're brilliant' grin

What are you trying to find out? I can't think of anything in the SEF that will help you.

Also SEFs are no longer compulsory.....

IndigoBell Wed 14-Sep-11 12:41:24

The SEF is very closely aligned to the OFSTED report,

ie if it is a vaguely recent inspection, the inspection is largely about looking at the SEF and seeing if OFSTED agree with it or not.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 12:46:22

It's to point out the discrepancies for where the school say they are and what they want to achieve and how their actions with regards to us/ds is at odds with that.

It's to negotiate with the HT in a common sense way to show that I am trying to resolve the conflict before the tribunal.

So for example, if they say that we work closely with the nursery setting before a child goes into reception. I can ask then why they didn't attend the Annual Review, or the 'training' afternoon for parents and teachers, or even reply to any of the any emails from the senco at previous school etc.

IndigoBell Wed 14-Sep-11 12:58:21

Good luck.

Not sure it's the way to go myself.....

Make sure you concentrate on achieving your goals (which are what? To resolve conflict before tribunal? To get your DS more support?) rather than getting involved in pointless legal wrangling........

I don't see why you can't just ask the HT those questions. I can't see how quoting their SEF at them will change the outcome of the discussion. I think it will just make them even more defensive.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 13:12:13

It's not really to quote the SEF at them if I'm honest. It is to show that I will hold them to account for their promises/targets and 'leave it to us, we know what we are doing and don't need to tell you' is not good enough.

I am trying to resolve this pre-tribunal. I need to show where in policy documents, government initiatives and their own aspirations, my requests are in line with their agenda. I need to do this to be able to go to the governors about the unreasonableness of the HT.

The SEFS (a couple of specific ones is all I'm after) is not going to have much of an impact on their own but as part of the whole package should help our case.

IndigoBell Wed 14-Sep-11 13:17:45

Well, in that case ask for the SIP (School Improvement Plan) as well as the SEF.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 14-Sep-11 13:25:02

Thank you Indigo, that is really helpful.

It's funny, but I really do mean no extra stress for this particular Head teacher. She's a bit silly and she doesn't seem to know as much as I do about SN or the law for that matter, but I don't think she is awful or anything.

But the truth is, it is her and only her that is standing in the way of ds getting what he needs. It would cost her nothing extra to implement it, and then there would be no tribunal. She does, however, have to go against LA advice, - so I hope to (as nicely as I can) point out that it is the LA that is causing her stress, not me, by their refusal to allow her to agree to my sensible request that fits in with all she believes in, and making her justify and possibly even lie to fulfil THEIR agenda.

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