Bristol City Council Inclusion In Education Group FOI Refused

  • Bristol City Council Inclusion In Education Group responsible for non statutory Bristol Send Support Plan

Bristol City Council is once again refusing to supply the answer to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request regarding education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Send).

We asked for the meeting minutes for the Inclusion in Education Group (IEG), a group responsible for the development of the Bristol Send Support Plan, a non-statutory Send plan launched in June 2019.

The IEG came from the ashes of the Inclusion Reference Group, a group tasked to find potential cuts to the High Needs Block, cuts which eventually lead to the 2018 Judicial Review against Bristol City Council.

In late response to our FOI, a Customer Relations Officer for Bristol City Council stated: ‘The information is exempt from disclosure under Section 22(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA). There is a clear intention to publish the information at a future date and in line with section 22(1)(c) it is considered reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date of publication.

‘It is considered that the greater public interest therefore lies in not providing the information at this time. In coming to that conclusion, the public interest in providing the information has been carefully weighed against any prejudice to the public interest that might arise from withholding the information; in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.’

No minutes have been published publicly since the group launched in 2018 and there are no public meeting minutes for its former inception as the Inclusion Reference Group.

More information about both IEG can be found in our earlier article here: chopsybaby.com/magazine/bristol-send-support-plans-non-statutory-ehcp-launch/

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