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Verbatim Responses from Local Authorities to our Freedom of Information Requests

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Children Schools and Families Bill, November 2009

"At this current time we do not have a report that would give us the required data for children educated at home and so are unable to answer."
"Social Care information and Education information is stored on separate databases. In order to comply with your request we would have to cross check individual cases both present and historic, which may also necessitate a search in paper files, which as you will understand would take considerable time"
"Too complex a question to easily find out."
"the data held by x council is not in a format to be able to answer."
"please note that x County Council does not keep information specifically on home educated children and safeguarding and so we have no way of collating this information. "
"The numbers for the above questions are very low and to disclose this information would be compromising the data protection act, therefore the Council is refusing this part of the request."
"I am instructed that the Council does not hold this information."
"no records for any questions prior to April 2009"
"x does not hold this information. "

Asked about s.17 and s.47 over the past 5 years, x said they only had figures for current year.

x said they didn't have answers for any years except the current one "We do not have records of each year."

Asked about s.17 referrals, x said "We have estimated that it will cost £41,666 to provide you with the required information."

"The requested Information is not recorded in format that will facilitate quick retrieval; the information would need to be retrieved from each child's file. "

Asked about s.17 and s.47 for EHE, x said "This is not recorded separately."

Asked about safeguarding and social care, x replied: "x County Council Home Education Team does not hold this data"

In answer to the safeguarding questions, x replied "We do not separate out the home educated children in the data we keep and therefore cannot answer these questions."

"The system used to record children’s social care information does not record information relating to children who are educated at home. There is the ability to record whether a child is educated outside of school but it is not broken down into any further detail. Therefore, we do not hold this information in the manner in which it has been requested."
"The information you have requested is not available.Information about children educated other than at school and information about children with social care involvement or a child protection plan are held on two separate databases. To provide the information as requested, we would need to manually match information from the databases and an officer with specialist knowledge of social care and child protection would need to review the matched cases to identify which children fulfil the criteria you have specified."

x was unable to answer safeguarding and social care questions on cost grounds:"Unfortunately we are unable to answer the above four questions. This is because in order to get these answers we would have to go into each individual home educated child’s file to determine whether they fall under the above categories. To do this would exceed the maximum charge for dealing with FOI requests".

For questions about s.17 and s.47 referrals x said: "I am unable to fully respond to questions 4 and 5 due to the fact that this is a complex request and the LA does not hold this information; the LA has implemented a new system and although data has been migrated to the new database it is not considered entirely reliable at this stage".

Asked about children 5-18, x said "The information which we hold is for children who attend maintained schools only and has been taken from our Census returns this is attached separately. Each time a school 'drops off' to become an academy their data is no longer in our Census files".

"There is currently no data available however, we can inform you that we are constructing a protocol where we would be informed of a child who was to be dealt with pursuant to s17 of the Children Act 1989. "
"We are unable to provide information on the number of children subject to s.17 of the Children Act 1989 as it is not routinely collated by the local authority."

Asked about s.17 and s.47 for EHE, x said "We cannot provide an answer to a) b) or c). These figures are not recorded and could only be collated by reviewing each child’s case file individually, which would exceed the appropriate limit".

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