The Freedom of Information Act 2000 was set up on January 1 2005. Under the Act, any person has a legal right to ask for access to information held by the school. They are entitled to be told whether the school holds the information, and to receive a copy, subject to certain exemptions.
It is important to know that it is an offence to wilfully conceal, damage or destroy information in order to avoid responding to an enquiry, so it is important that no records that are the subject of an enquiry are changed or destroyed.
Requests under the Freedom of information act can be addressed to anyone in the school, so all staff need to be aware of the process for dealing with requests. Requests must be made in writing including email, and should include the enquirers name and address and state what information they need. Also, they do not have to mention the Act do or mention that they have to say why they want the information.
There is a duty to reply to all the requests telling the enquirer whether or not the information is held and supplying any information that is held except where exemptions apply. There is no need to collect data in specific response to an Freedom of information enquiry. All the guidance information contained on these pages has been developed by the Office of the Information Commissioner Data Protection and Freedom of Information advice who are responsible authority for overseeing the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.