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Freedom of Information Act 2000

Page last updated: 25/08/2020

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) came into force in January 2005. Under the Act, any person has a legal right to ask for access to information held by the school. The school must say if they hold the information and provide it unless an exemption applies.

It is an offence to conceal, damage or destroy information to avoid responding to a request.

All staff need to be aware of the process for dealing with requests. A request must be in writing and provide an address for the response. They do not have to mention the Act, nor do they have to say why they want the information.

All requests must have a response, even if you don't have what they are asking for. If you do have the information you must supply it, except where exemptions apply. There is no need to create new data to respond to an FOI enquiry. There is a time limit of 20 days excluding school holidays for responding to the request.

Full guidance is available from the ICO.

Requesters can complain about your response, this is an Internal Review. If the requestor is unhappy after your complaint response, they can complaint to the ICO.

Essex County Council (IGS) can provide you with support. To find out more please visit the Information Governance Support website; email or call 0333 032 2970