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  • Steve Cullen

FOI publication scheme


There has recently been increased awareness of the need for state schools and academies, which are classified as public authorities, to have a publication scheme in place. This has been a legal requirement since 2005 when the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force.

I believe that interest has been reawakened by the newly revised Ofsted inspection process, and the “Getting Our Heads Together” bulletin (Issue 4: Autumn Term 2019, dated 23rd September) which mentions that Ofsted required a ”Public Information Scheme” to be available on the school or academy’s website, detailing what information is routinely published by the school or academy.

The “Getting Our Heads Together” bulletin mentions a model version, which just needs a few tweaks, can be found at the following link:

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1153/model-publication-scheme.pdf

Unfortunately, this is a not a recent sample and is not a school-specific publication scheme, being intended as a guide for all public authorities. I believe it needs more than a few tweaks and, as the DfE no longer produces a sample of its own for schools and academies, I have been offering an alternative sample to my own client schools and academies for quite some while.

What is used is really a matter of individual choice – the legal requirement is to make a available a list of the data routinely published by the organisation. Obviously, it is sensible to make this available via the website, especially if Ofsted are expecting this.


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