I would like to request the following under the Freedom of Information Act:
Any documents – including emails – that refer to unregistered/illegal schools, for the past five years (calendar or financial, whichever is easiest for you to extract).
I understand that Section 16 of the Act says it is “the duty of a public authority to provide advice and assistance”. If you require any clarification or believe that my request will exceed the cost limit, please do get in touch with me via email to offer advice on how it should be amended.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information. For West Midlands to identify whether or not this information is held would involve a manual search of all incidents involving schools to ascertain whether or not the report relates to an illegal/unregistered school.
Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12 (1)).
Therefore, the cost of compliance with your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.
A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is relying on a claim that section 12 or section 14 applies must, within the time for complying with Section 1(1), give the applicant a notice stating that fact. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a refusal notice.
I am unable to suggest any practical way in which your request may be modified in order to satisfy your query or bring it within the 18 hours stipulated by the Regulations. I am however willing to consider any refinements that you are able to make to your request.
Please note: Any request under Freedom Of Information is for actual recorded information and not documents.