Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information Policy
St Michael’s Church of England Primary Academy is committed to complying with and
implementing the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) and related legislation. This provides a general entitlement to any person to be able to access information held by school, subject to exemptions and conditions laid down by law.
This policy applies to all information held by school regardless of how it was created or received. It applies irrespective of the media on which the information is stored and whether the information is recorded on paper or held electronically. The Act’s powers are fully retrospective and thus information is accessible no matter how old i t may be. Similarly, information in draft form will also be accessible under the Act. It should be noted that access to personal information (that is information from which a living individual can be identified) is still governed under the Data Protection Act 1998. Requests for access to such information will be governed in line with the requirements of this legislation.
Dealing with Requests
St Michael’s Church of England Primary and Nursery Academy will offer advice and assistance to anybody wishing to make a request for information. We are committed to dealing with requests within statutory guidelines, which means that a response will be made no more than 20 working days from the date of request and more speedily if possible. This will be extended in specific circumstances on legal advice in connection with the public interest test. However, St Michael’s Churchof England Primary Academy is committed to providing a prompt service and every attempt will be made to provide the information earlier than the expiry of the 20 working day period. Repeated or vexatious requests for information will be refused. School will claim exemptions as appropriate whilst maintaining a commitment to openness, scrutiny and the public interest. Any request in writing will be considered a Freedom of Information request including those received by email and fax. There is no need for requests to indicate that they are made under the Act and all requests will be dealt with under this policy. School reserves the right to refuse requests where thecost of locating, retrieving and editing (where necessary) the information would exceed thestatutory maximum (currently £450). School recognises that requests for environmental information may be made over the telephone and that different exemptions apply.
Adopting and Maintaining Publication Schemes
St Michael’s Church of England Primary and Nursery Academy has adopted a Publication Scheme (see below) in accordance with Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act and is committed to updating and maintaining it to keep it current and relevant. The Publication Scheme contains many of the documents, policies, plans and guidance which are regularly asked for. Material contained within the publication scheme, and a copy of the scheme itself, wi ll be readily available. Where charges are applied these will be stated in the Scheme. The scheme can be accessed in school on request. School staff will give advice and assistance on how to use the scheme as appropriate.
Relationship with the Data Protection Act 1998
St Michael’s Church of England Primary and Nursery Academy is under a legal duty to protect personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998. We will carefully consider our responsibilities under this Act before releasing personal information about living individuals, including current and former employees and pupils.
St Michael’s Church of England Primary Academy has a responsibility to make information available in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Responsibility for compliance with this and related policies will rest with the Governing Body who will delegate those responsibilities to the Head Teacher. Complaints regarding the use of this policy should be directed to the Governing Body. All school staff have a responsibility to ensure that any request for information they receive is dealt with under the Act and in compliance with this policy. They are also responsible for good information handling practice and for implementing records management policies and procedures as appropriate to their post.
Below is St Michael’s Church of England Primary Academy’s Publication Scheme on information available under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The governing body is responsible for maintenance of this scheme.
1. Introduction: What a publication scheme is and why it has been developed?
One of the aims of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (which is referred to as FOIA in the rest of this document) is that public authorities, including all maintained schools, should be clear and proactive about the information they will make public. To do this we must produce a publication scheme, setting out:
- The classes of information which we publish or intend to publish;
- The manner in which the information will be published; and
- Whether the information is available free of charge or on payment.
The scheme covers information already published and information which is to be published in the future. All information in our publication scheme is on our website to download and print off or is available in paper form. Some information which we hold may not be made public, for example personal information. This publication scheme conforms to the model scheme for schools approved by the Information Commissioner.
2. Categories of information published
The publication scheme guides you to information which we currently publish (or have recently published) or which we will publish in the future. This is split into categories of information known as ‘classes’. These are contained in section 6 of this scheme. The classes of information that we undertake to make available are organised into four broad topic areas:
- School Prospectus – information published in the school prospectus.
- Information relating to the school and governing body – information published on the school
website and in other governing body documents.
- Pupils & Curriculum – information about policies that relate to pupils and the school curriculum.
- School Policies and other information related to the school – information about policies that relate to the school in general.
3. How to request information
If you require a paper version of any of the documents within the scheme, please contact the school by telephone, email, fax or letter.
Contact details are set out below:
St Michael’s Church of England Primary Academy, Handsworth
Piers Road, Handsworth
Phone: 0121 554 7818
Fax: 0121 515 2203
To help us process your request quickly, please clearly mark any correspondence “PUBLICATION
SCHEME REQUEST” (in CAPITALS please). If the information you’re looking for isn’t available via the scheme, you can still contact the school to ask if we have it.
4. Paying for information
Information published on our website is free, although you may incur costs from your Internet
service provider. If you don’t have Internet access, you can access our website using a local library or an Internet café.
If your request means that we have to do a lot of photocopying or printing, or pay a large postage charge, or is for a priced item such as some printed publications or videos we will let you know the cost before fulfilling your request. Where there is a charge this wil l be indicated on the Guide to Information Available table.
5. Classes of Information Currently Published
School Prospectus The statutory contents of the school prospectus are as follows, (other items may be included in the prospectus at the school’s discretion):
- information about the implementation of the governing body’s policy on pupils with special educational needs (SEND) and any changes to the policy during the last year a description of the arrangements for the admission of pupils with disabilities; details of steps to prevent disabled pupils being treated less favourably than other pupils; details of existing facilities to assist access to the school by pupils with disabilities;
- the accessibility plan covering future policies for increasing access by those with disabilities to the school
6. Information related to the school and other information relating to the governing body – this
section sets out information published and in other governing body documents.
Instrument of Government The name of the school
- The category of the school
- The name of the governing body
- The manner in which the governing body is constituted
- The term of office of each category of governor if less than 4 years
- The name of anybody entitled to appoint any category of governor
- Details of any trust
- If the school has a religious character,
Minutes of meeting of the governing body and its committees
Agreed minutes of meetings of the governing body and its committees [current and last full academic school year] ¹Some information might be confidential or otherwise exempt from the publication by law – we cannot therefore publish this.
Pupils & Curriculum Policies – this section gives access to information about policies that relate to pupils and the school curriculum. Paper copies are provided on request.
Home – school agreement
Statement of the school’s aims and values, the school’s responsibilities, the parental responsibilities and the school’s expectations of its pupils for example homework arrangements
Curriculum Policy Statement on following the policy for the secular curriculum subjects and religious education and schemes of work and syllabuses currently used by the school
Sex & Relationships Policy
Statement of policy with regard to sex and relationship education
Special Education Needs Policy
Information about the school's policy on providing for pupils with special educational needs
Policy Statement of policy for promoting equality
Collective Worship Statement of arrangements for the required daily act of collective worship
Accessibility Plans Plan for increasing participation of disabled pupils in the school’s curriculum, improving the accessibility of the physical environment and improving delivery of information to disabled pupils.
Child Protection / Safeguarding Policy
Behaviour & Discipline Policy
Statement of general principles on behaviour and discipline and of measures taken by the head teacher to prevent bullying
School Policies and other information related to the school – this section gives access to information about policies that relate to the school in general.
Published reports of Ofsted referring expressly to the school
Published report of the last inspection of the school and, where appropriate, inspection reports of religious education in those schools designated as having a religious character
Charging and Remissions Policies
A statement of the school’s policy with respect to charges and remissions for any optional extra or board and lodging for which charges are permitted, for example school publications, music
School session times and term dates
Details of school session and dates of school terms and holidays
Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessment
Statement of general policy with respect to health and safety at
work of employees (and others) and the organisation and arrangements for carrying out the policy
Complaints procedure Statement of procedures for dealing with complaints
Staff Appraisal Statement of procedures adopted by the governing body relating to the appraisal of staff and the annual report of the Head Teacher on the effectiveness of appraisal procedures.
Staff Conduct, Capability and Grievance
Statement of procedure for regulating conduct and capability of school staff and procedures by which staff may seek redress for grievance
Pay Policy Statement of the school’s policy regarding teachers’ pay including procedures for determining teachers’ grievances in relation to pay.
Staffing Structure The School’s plan for the implementation of any changes to its staffing structure following statutory review.
Curriculum circulars and statutory instruments
Any statutory instruments, departmental circulars and administrative memoranda sent by the Department of Education and Skills to the Head Teacher or governing body relating to the curriculum.
Admission Policy Statement of the school’s policy on admissions.
Any comments or complaints will be dealt with through the school’s normal complaints procedure.
We will aim to determine all complaints within 10 days of receipt. We will publish information on our success rate in meeting this target. The school will maintain records of all complaints and their outcome. If on investigation the school’s original decision is upheld, then the school has a duty to inform the complainant of their right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s office.
Appeals should be made in writing to the Information Commissioner’s office.
They can be contacted at:
FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution
Information Commissioner’s Office
The Governing Body will review this policy statement annually and update, modify or amend it as it considers necessary to ensure the policy meets the needs of St Michael’s Church of England Primary Academy.