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Bury College - Freedom of Information

 

Introductions

1. Legal requirement
1.1 Adopting a publication scheme is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This Act promotes greater openness and accountability across the public sector by requiring all `public authorities' to make information available proactively, through a publication scheme.

1.2 `Public authorities' are defined in the Act and include universities, further education colleges and sixth form colleges.

2. What is a publication scheme?
2.1 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.

2.2 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.

3. The `model' publication scheme for further education
3.1 Bury College has adopted the model publication scheme developed for the Further Education sector and is therefore committed to publishing the information it describes.

3.2 This model is designed for further education colleges and sixth form 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 accessing 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.

3.3 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/

4. Who we are
Bury College is a tertiary Beacon College serving the needs of Bury and surrounding areas. Bury College has approximately 5230 full time and 5930 part time students studying at the College’s main campus in Bury.

Bury College has a highly successful Employer Engagement provision through Business Solutions and Bury College Apprenticeships and was awarded the Training Quality Standard for its excellent work with employers. The team works closely with a number of employers and industry groups, offering an extensive range of training courses to help meet the skills and demands of local business.

The college has a comprehensive Higher Education provision that offers a local choice across a wide range of provision for over 240 students. Bury College also offers a growing range of Workskills provision that is focussed on enhancing employability and supporting individuals into employment.

Bury College has been nationally recognised as one of the best Colleges in the country following a detailed Government Ofsted Inspection. The Inspectors awarded Bury College Outstanding Grade 1, the highest grade possible, in every single area of provision.

Bury College is proud of the way it continues to develop close links with local high schools, welcoming students from Bury and the surrounding areas, including Rochdale, Bolton, and North Manchester. The College has an excellent record for A Level results, which are consistently above the national average, and achieves exceptional Vocational and Apprenticeship successes.

The College has been recognised as an Investor in People since 1997 and secured Investor In People Gold Status in 2012. In 2004, the College was awarded Beacon Status in recognition of excellence and innovation in the learning and skills sector. In addition, Mentoring for Excellence, Mentoring for Success and At Risk Monitoring schemes give excellent support to gifted and talented 16 year old students and students at risk of dropping out/falling. These initiatives were praised by Ofsted inspectors as “innovative and very successful mentoring schemes”.

In February 2007, the College was inspected by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) and ALI (Adult Learning Inspectorate). The Inspection Report was published in March 2007 and praises Bury College’s outstanding support for students, teaching and management. The College was awarded Grade 1 – Outstanding in the following areas:

•   Effectiveness of Provision
•   Capacity to improve
•   Achievements/Standards
•   Quality of provision
•   Leadership and Management
•   Every Child Matters

Over £48 million has been invested in recent years in the Bury College campus to ensure the best possible environment for all learners. In July 2008 PlayFootball Bury was opened, enhancing the College’s existing sports facilities and providing wonderful opportunities for enrichment. In 2012, the Construction Skills Centre was opened, which provides a wide range of specialist courses, delivered in a work-related environment. The college also opened a brand new Bistro, Learning Resource Centre and Courtyard area at the Woodbury Centre in 2012, complementing its wide range of existing student study areas and cafes. The Venture Centre was opened in 2013, enhancing the college’s range of modern classrooms and IT facilities.

5. Accessing information covered by the publication scheme
5.1 The classes of information we publish are described in the second part of the scheme.

5.2 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.

5.3 To request information available through our publication scheme, please contact:
Jerome Wittersheim, Director of Planning & Information Services, at the college.

5.4 Please note that a publication scheme relates to `published' information. Therefore, material covered has already been prepared in a format ready for distribution.

6. What about information not covered by the publication scheme?
6.1 From 1 January 2005 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 made available through its publication scheme.

6.2 Requests 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.

7. Feedback
7.1 It is important that this publication scheme meets your needs. If you find the scheme difficult to understand, please let us know. We also welcome suggestions as to how our scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent in writing to the Publication Scheme Co-ordinator below.
Jerome Wittersheim
Director of Planning & Information Services
Bury College
Market Street
Bury, BL9 0BG
Telepone: 0161 280 8318
e-mail :- jerome.wittersheim@burycollege.ac.uk

7.2 If we are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the Freedom of Information Act:
Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

8. Further information
More information about the Freedom of Information Act is available on the Information Commissioner's website at:
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Bury College Publication Scheme

  1. Governance

This section covers information relating to the way the institution is governed and how decisions are made. It includes information on the legal status of the institution, which individual member of staff or group within the organisation is responsible for specific functions and where they fit in the overall structure of the organisation. In some instances information from committee minutes will be exempt from disclosure where it contains personal information, information that may damage the commercial interests of the institution or that may threaten the health and safety of specific individuals.


 

Class

 

Manner

Fee

1.1

Legal framework

  Instruments and Articles of Government

Paper

£15

1.2

How the institution is organised

  • Organisational structure charts
  • Description of work/responsibilities of units

 

All paper

£15 each

1.3

Information on the institutional context

  • The FE corporation's mission statement
  • Relevant sections of the FE corporation's corporate plan
  • Statement of the FE corporation's quality assurance policies and procedures
  • Strategic Plan
  • Names of members of Corporation

All paper

£15 each

1.4

Management structure

  • Codes of Conduct for members of governing bodies
  • Description of the sub-structures and committees supporting them. Including Academic Boards, Boards of Governors and Steering Groups and Standing Orders'.
  • Objectives on which the structure is based
  • Terms of reference, membership and mode of operation of all boards and committees in the formal structure
  • Code of practice for college elections and committee procedures
  • Minutes and papers of Governing Body, Corporation meetings and Steering Groups etc
  • Appointment committees and procedures

All paper

£15 each

  1. Financial Resources

This section covers information on the institution's strategy and management of financial resources. The Finance Directorate provides accounting, procurement and contracting services, helping to make best use of resources and fulfilling statutory responsibilities. Information that may damage the institution's commercial interests will be excluded from publication.

 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

2.1

Finance

  • Travel and subsistence

Paper

£15

2.2

Resource planning

  • Annual accounts
  • Annual report

Paper

£25

  1. Human Resources

This section covers information on the institution's strategy and management of human resources, rather than information relating to individual members of staff which is exempt from disclosure as personal information. The information available covers personnel policies and procedures (including terms and conditions of service including all current versions of the information specified in each class).

 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

3.1

Employment and employee relations

  • Policies, statements, procedures and guidelines relating to recruitment and induction
  • Generic terms and conditions of employment
  • Salary grades
  • Collective bargaining procedures and consultation with recognised trade unions
  • Grievance procedures and policies
  • Disciplinary procedures and policies
  • Harassment and bullying policy
  • Health and Safety policy and procedures
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • Job vacancies
  • E-mail and Internet policy

 

All Paper/ Electronic

£15 each

3.2

Equal opportunities /Diversity

  • Policies, statements, procedures and guidelines relating to the provision of equal opportunities with respect to age, race/ethnic origin, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation, and disability
  • Race Relations/Race Equality Policies
  • Disability Equality Scheme

All Paper/ Electronic

£15 each

3.4

Staff development

  • Policies and procedures relating to probation
  • Policies and procedures pertaining to staff review
  • Staff Development policy

All Paper

£15 each

  1. Physical Resources

Institutions are often substantial land and property owners in their own right. Classes in this section cover information at a strategic level relating to the institution's management of its physical resources. Information that provides specific details of the institution's future plans to alter its estate (eg proposals to purchase additional property) may be exempt from disclosure where such disclosure would damage the institution's commercial interests.


 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

4.1

Estates

  • Tendering policies
  • Catering policies
  • Cleaning policies
  • Building maintenance and upkeep
  • Map of main site
  • Address of main site and any other locations

All paper

£15 each

  1. Student Administration and Support

This section contains information on how the institution manages the administration and progression of their students from admission to course completion, including student support services. Information available within this section does not include specific student personal details, by virtue of being personal information.


 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

5.1

Information on student admission, progression and completion

  • Student qualifications on entry
  • The range of student entrants classified by age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background, disability and geographical origin as returned to LSC
  • Student progression, retention and completion data
  • Data on qualifications awarded to students
  • Data on employment/training outcomes for graduates/students

All paper Electronic

£15 each

5.2

Student accommodation

  • Accommodation services

Paper

£15

5.3

Student administration

  • Registry student records policies and procedures documents
  • Registry security and data protection policy and procedure documents

All paper/ Electronic

£15 each

5.4

Student admission and enrolment

  • Admissions and enrolment policies and procedures documents

Paper / Electronic

£15

5.5

Student discipline

  • Code of student discipline and other policy and procedure documents
  • Internal student complaint and appeals procedures

All paper

£15 each

5.6

Student learning support services

  • Learning development and support
    Personal development advice
  • Services for students with special needs

All paper

£15 each

5.7

Student liaison

  • Terms of reference of staff/student liaison committee(s)
  • Minutes of previous staff/student liaison committee(s) meetings

All paper

£15 each

5.8

Student policies

  • Policies relating to students not included elsewhere in the Publication Scheme
  • Reference to student policies included elsewhere in the Publication Scheme

All paper

£15 each

5.9

Student welfare

  • Welfare/advice services
  • Health services
  • Careers services
  • Sports and recreational facilities
  • Housing
  • Finance

All paper

£15 each

5.10

Student Associations and Activities

  • Students' Union Constitution, Code of Practice, List of Officers and any other related documents

Paper

£15

  1. Information Services

This section covers those functions within the institution that provide access to information to the student body and both academic and administrative staff. These include libraries, computing services and information support services.
Such functions may be managed separately from each other, or in various combinations. These services routinely explain their facilities (and the conditions of their use) to students, staff and the general public, and it is information of this nature that is included within this section.

Information services inevitably hold large quantities of personal data that are exempt from general disclosure.

 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

6.1

Availability and conditions of use of facilities

  • Opening hours of libraries, helpdesks, etc, scheduled maintenance times of systems
  • Who is allowed to use the facilities (for example, categories of persons and their associated rights/levels of access)
  • The general rules and conditions of use (eg no smoking/drinking/eating, the existence of policies with regard to law such as copyright, computing code of practice, data protection). For other student policies, see reference to other relevant student policies in PS
  • Some of the information may be covered in the student registration details or staff conditions of employment, but it will be necessary to advise how other categories are accepted as users, short course or conference use, `taster sessions' etc
  • There should be a pointer to other codes of conduct or rules external to the institution which may apply to the user (eg JANET acceptable use rules, Athens registration rules)
  • Access to/use of Archives, including how far back in time information exists and if so to what extent it is available.
  • Details of logging, monitoring and procedures followed in case of breach of conditions of use should also be included here.

All paper

£15 each

6.2

Mission statements and related documents

This class should include information regarding the aims of the department in context of its place in the organisation, a definition of the service provided and, where appropriate, service level agreements.

All paper

£15 each

6.3

Policies with regard to data and information

  • Security policies (ie how the data is protected). It could be argued that provision of information on this could risk a crime being committed, so it might be exempt or certain parts would not be published. (This is only really an issue where the security policy is explicit enough to include detailed description of implementation. Clearly disclosure of this sort of information could potentially lead to a crime under the Computer Misuse Act).
  • Data retention and archive policies (how long it is kept for, what happens to it after the need for it has passed, anonymising data to keep for statistics),
  • Data protection statements/policies.
  • Policies on CCTV monitoring, RIPA etc

All paper

£15 each

6.4

Procurement and disposal policies

  • Policies relating to the procurement and disposal of equipment
  • Collection management/preservation strategy (including policy on disposal of stock)

All paper

£15 each

6.5

Scope of collections held

  • Guides to collections
  • Scope and availability of catalogues

All paper

£15 each

  1. Teaching and Learning

This section contains information regarding the management of teaching and learning within the institution including mechanisms for reviewing and ensuring the quality of teaching provided. (Institutions may be required to make available much of the information included within this section as part of the recommendations of the Information on quality and standards in higher education (`Cooke Report') see above).

 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

7.1

Academic year dates

Dates for the current academic year (Calendar)

Paper

£15

7.2

Further course information

  • F/T Prospectus
  • P/T Prospectus
  • Short Courses Leaflet

All paper

£15 each

7.3

Information on internal procedures for assuring academic quality and standards

a) Information on programme approval, monitoring and review:

  • Annual monitoring and review processes
  • Accreditation and monitoring reports by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies

b) Information on assessment procedures and outcomes:

  • Assessment strategies, processes and procedures

c) Information on student satisfaction with their college experience, covering the views of students on:

  • Arrangements for academic and tutorial guidance, support and supervision
  • Library services and IT support
  • Suitability of accommodation, equipment and facilities for teaching and learning
  • Assessment arrangements
  • Quality of pastoral support

d) Information and evidence available to teams undertaking internal reviews of quality and standards in relation to:

  • The availability and use of specialist equipment and other resources and materials to support teaching and learning
  • Staff access to professional development to improve teaching performance, including peer observation and mentoring programmes
  • The use of external benchmarking and other comparators

All paper

£15 each

7.4

Staffing structure of Departments

  • Job titles of key staff
  • Contact details for each department

All paper

£15 each

7.5

Student assessment strategy

  • Examination periods
  • Examination regulations
  • Appeal procedures
  • External examination bodies

All paper

£15 each

7.6

Tuition fees

  • Information for home/EU students
  • Information for international students
  • Information on other charges

All paper

£15 each

  1. External Relations

This section covers information relating to the institution's relationship with its external environment. These include the formal reports the institution is required to provide to its funding bodies, arrangements with other institutions, how it manages its relationship with the local community and how it retains contact with its former staff and students.
By virtue of its nature most institutions will probably find that the majority of these classes are already made available to the public in some means. Members of the public are also likely to find the same or related information is available from the external partners with which the institution has links.


 

Class

Description

Manner

Fee

8.1

Government and Regulator relations

  • Reports/returns to the Learning and Skills Council
  • OFSTED Inspections

All paper

£15 each

8.2

Marketing and recruitment

  • Full Time Prospectus
  • Part Time Prospectus
  • Course Leaflets
  • New Year Promotions
  • Open evenings
  • Entry requirements
  • Widening participation

Website

Free

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