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Petition to make academies subject to FOI

A petition on the Number 10 website calls for the Prime Minister to make academy schools subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

John Cross, the petition creator, states:

“Academies are all-ability, state-funded schools” according to the department for children, schools and families. Unlike most state-funded schools they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This makes academies unusual in that they get to spend large amounts of public money with very little public accountability.

Publicly funded Further Education Colleges, Higher Education Colleges and Universities and most state-funded schools are all to the Freedom of Information Act there is no reason why academies should be any different.

The Ministry of Justice’s consultation paper on on the designation of additional public authorities, which closed on 1 Feb 2008 but is still awaiting a Government response, said:

“There may be greater public interest in bringing within the ambit of FOI organisations providing services which, in many or most other areas of the country, are provided by public authorities already covered by the Act. If most parents are able to obtain access to information under the FOI Act from their children’s school, for example, it may be regarded as anomalous that some cannot.

You can sign the petition here until 6 December 2009.

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