Freedom of Information
Schools need to put in place a Freedom of Information policy (the Department for Education has specific advice for academies). The governing body is free to determine how often this policy is reviewed. The principal piece of legislation is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. This Act gives a right of access to information held by public bodies, including schools, which must comply with the Act and produce a Publication Scheme.
Every public authority must have a publication scheme, using the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) model publication scheme. The model publication scheme is a short document setting out a school's high-level commitment to proactively publish information. It consists of seven commitments and seven classes of information.
Schools and colleges should also make themselves aware of the ICO's definition documents, which will help them develop their own guides to information. The guidance is intended to assist schools and colleges by giving examples of the kinds of information that the ICO would expect them to provide in order to meet their commitments under the FOIA model publication scheme. This information is available on the ICO website, as part of their comprehensive guidance for the education sector, which all schools and colleges should familiarise themselves with.