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Freedom of Information Act

About Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act was passed on 30 November 2000 and came into force in January 2005. It gives the public a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, but also sets out exemptions from that right.

The purpose of the Scheme is to ensure that information is readily available to the general public. Information can be accessed through the College website but also as paper copy or by e mail. The College is using the Model Publication Scheme for further education colleges approved by the Information Commissioner.

What is the purpose of the Act?

The Act is intended to give the public greater access to information about the workings of public authorities. This will mean increased transparency and accountability, which will raise the quality of public administration.

What does the Act do?

The Act gives the public a general right of access to all types of "recorded" information held by public authorities from 1 January 2005, subject to certain exemptions. Public authorities also have to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme.

What is the Publication Scheme?

he Act places a duty on public authorities to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Publication Scheme must set out the types of information we intend to publish on an ongoing basis, the form in which the information is published and details of any charges.

Application to Somerset College

Somerset College seeks to be open and accountable and already provides the public with a great deal of information about its activities.

If you require further details about any of the available information or wish to request any publications, please contact:

Liz Hurst Vice Principal Finance & Resources Freedom of Information Act Somerset College Wellington Road Taunton Somerset TA1 5AX liz.hurst@somerset.ac.uk

When requesting information please include the following details:

* Your name and address. * The information or documents you would like to access. * The way you would like the information to be sent to you (e.g. hard copy, via email). * Depending on the nature of your request a fee may be payable.

How long will it take?

We aim to provide information within twenty working days.


We prefer to provide information electronically in line with the College's sustainability objectives, and most documents can be provided electronically. The information provided on the website is free of charge (ie there is no charge by us but the user will have to meet any charges by their Internet service provider, personal printing costs etc). However, if paper copies are required, there will be a copy charge of 10p per sheet. There will be an additional charge for postage if applicable.

What happens if I'm not satisfied with the service I receive?

The policy of Somerset College is to be as open as possible and to supply the information you have requested, but we have to withhold certain information. The Freedom Of Information Act sets out a series of exemptions to protect confidential or other information where disclosure may prejudice the interests of the College or of third parties. Decisions about refusal of access to information, the way in which access is given or the level of fees or charges, are also subject to review. The two review processes are set out below.

Internal Review

If you are dissatisfied with the response from Somerset College you may seek an internal review of that decision. That review will be undertaken by a senior Somerset College member of staff who has not previously been involved with your request. Requests for an internal review should be submitted in writing to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Tel: 01625 545700 Fax: 01625 545510 Website: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk E-Mail: data@dataprotection.gov.uk

Review by the Information Commissioner

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, or the handling, of the internal review, you may seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. Requests for a review should be made in writing directly to the Information Commissioner at the address shown above.

Privacy Policy

Somerset College has created this privacy policy in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to privacy and your security. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this site and for the College. In accordance with the Data Protection Act, we ensure to protect any information you submit to us. Our only use for this information is for the purposes of feedback and development to the quality of our services. The information you submit will not be passed on to any third parties - unless we acquire permission from you to do so.

If you wish to be deleted from any of our mailing lists email enquiries@somerset.ac.uk with your request.

The personal information we hold will be held securely in accordance with our internal security policy and the law.

We may use technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site, this can include using a "cookie" which would be stored on your browser. You can usually modify your browser to prevent this happening. The information collected in this way can be used to identify you unless you modify your browser settings. If you have any questions/comments about privacy, you should email us at enquiries@somerset.ac.uk

This site has extensive security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control.

This site may collect online contact information from children without prior parental consent or parental notification. However, this information will only be used for the reason(s) it was originally submitted, normally to send copies of new college publications or information about a course or courses and will not be released to third parties.


Freedom of Information Act

© Somerset College 2018. All Rights Reserved. Registered Address: Wellington Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 5AX Tel: 01823 366 366