The ICO has been presiding over three different cases brought forward by the PT, of which one is still being deliberated on.
During those appeals the city council, Eye Primary and the Standards and Testing Agency have all given numerous reasons as to why the PT - and therefore the public - should not have access to any further information on why the school’s results were declared invalid.
Here is a selection of those arguments:
Peterborough City Council
According to a report published by the ICO, the council said that the matter was now closed and that “further disclosure of information would not assist public understanding of the issues involved”.
The report adds: “The council seemed particularly keen to stress the burden that it considered would be imposed upon itself and upon the school in terms of managing the public relations issues that would inevitably occur if further information was released”.
The council told the ICO: “Good communications from the school have provided enough information into the public domain.”
The council also argued that “disclosure of further information, a year on from the event itself, would necessarily mean the whole matter being ‘raked over’ again to little or no advantage”.
However, it was noted by the ICO that the only reason this was being dealt with a year on was because the council had taken nine months to adequately respond to the PT, instead of the statutory time limit of 20 working days.
Eye Primary School
Outlining why it did not want to release a report by its governors into the annulled exam results, the school told the ICO that it may mean staff members would refuse to take part in investigations in the future. It added: “It would further enhance the existing difficulty with recruitment of primary school staff if they are concerned that participation in a governors’ investigation could lead to them being ‘door-stepped by the tabloids’.”
The school also said disclosure would make it harder to recruit governors in the future.
Furthermore, it hit out at the PT, saying: “It is our view that the requester has already written a number of sensationalised articles in respect of the circumstances contained within the Governor’s Report.
“In light of that fact, release of the Governors’ Report would damage the public interest in two respects – firstly in the upset and distress caused to parents and staff, and secondly in the loss of education time at the school in dealing with the fall-out.
“Both of these points are borne out by the consequences of the requester’s previous reporting on the topic.”
Standards and Testing Agency
The STA said the release of information could result in people being reluctant to respond to maladministration investigations honestly in the future.
It also claimed that the release of this information could “cause negative public prejudice against the reputation of the school, which may impact the staff, children and parents”.
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