Adopting a Publication Scheme is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Act promotes greater openness and accountability across the public sector by requiring all 'public authorities' to make information available proactively through a publication scheme.
'Public authorities' are defined in the Act and include universities, further education colleges and sixth form colleges.
What is a Publication Scheme?
A publication scheme is a document which describes the information a public authority publishes, or intends to publish. In this context ‘publish’ means to make information available routinely. These descriptions are called ‘classes of information’. The scheme is not a list of the actual publications, because this will change as new material is published or existing material revised. It is, however, the public authority’s commitment to make available the information described.
A publication scheme must set out the classes, or categories, of information published. It must also make clear how the information described can be accessed and whether or not charges will be made.
The 'model' publication scheme for further education
East Durham College has adopted the model publication scheme developed for the further education sector and is therefore committed to publishing the information it describes.
This model is designed for further education colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The purpose of the model is to save institutions duplicating effort in producing individual schemes and to assist the public in assessing information from across the sector. However, to reflect the diversity in size and function of institution, a number of optional classes of information are included. As a result, models within the sector will vary slightly. Any optional classes relevant to us have been included in our scheme.
To assist with the development of the model, a number of institutions across the sector volunteered as pilots. Information about the pilot exercise is available from the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) website at: www.jisc.ac.uk
Access information covered by the publication scheme
The classes of information we publish are described in the second part of the scheme.
Next to each class we have indicated the manner in which the information described will be available. We have also indicated whether charges apply to material in each class.
To request information available through our publication scheme, please contact us at:
Publications Scheme Enquiry c/o Data Protection Officer,
East Durham College,
Peterlee, SR8 2RN
Or please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that a publication scheme relates to ‘published’ information. Therefore, material covered has already been prepared in a format ready for distribution.
What about information not covered by the publication scheme?
You have the right, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to request any information held by a public authority which it has not already been made available through its publication scheme.
Requests will have to be made in writing and, in general, public authorities will have 20 working days to respond. They may charge a fee, which will have to be calculated according to Fees Regulations. They will not be required to release information to which an exemption in the Act legitimately applies. However, public authorities may be required to explain to the applicant why they are not releasing information and they may also have to justify this to the Information Commissioner.
It is important that this publication scheme meets your needs. If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you may ask for an internal review of our decision. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original request and should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
East Durham College,
Peterlee, SR8 2RN
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner (the independent body who oversees the Freedom of Information Act) at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
More information about the Freedom of Information Act is available on the Information Commissioner’s website at: www.ico.org.uk