Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act requires all maintained schools to publish or adopt a scheme of what public information they hold, where they hold it and how it can be accessed by an interested member of the public. From January 2005 an individual has the right to a response from a request for information.

As schools are listed separately under the list of public authorities to whom the FOI act applies, you are responsible for dealing with FOI requests you receive directly. If you hold the information requested you should respond; the identity of the requester is immaterial.

Useful documents

Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (word)
The FOI Act came into effect on 1 January 2005. All public authorities, including schools, are required by law to process requests for information within 20 working days.

Exemptions (word)
Exemptions to the right of access to information under the act.

Retention guidelines for schools (pdf)
Recommended retention periods for the different record series created and maintained by schools.

Useful websites:

Information Commissioner's Office
Detailed information on the act and how to make sure you are compliant.

DfE - freedom of information for schools
This site gives advice on freedom of information and how it applies to schools, including model schemes.

Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act legislation in full.

For further information contact:

Davina Donnelly
Tel: (020) 8825 8367

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Last updated: 05 Dec 2017