BPCollege Freedom of Information response 14 Mar 2017 to request made 20 Dec 2016

(This post is made on a personal basis, as a member – and until recently Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about some aspects of the running of the otherwise excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).

Below is the response I eventually received from the College to a request I made on 20 December 2016 – I was informed that the delay in their reply was due to my request (and several follow up ones requesting an acknowledgement of receipt) having gone into their spam folder. The attachment to 1. is shown as the second schedule (not the first, although that was also – incorrectly-  headed as Autumn schedule) in this previous post

Note that paragraph 3 says that schools are told of events (i.e. concerts) for which permission letters, rather than about those extra rehearsals which take place on weekdays.  

Note also the unusual request by the College not to publish the Freedom of Information response. (I did reply to Mr Roberts giving my reasons and challenging the claim that publication might infringe copyright, quoting the Information Commissioner’s Office’s own documentation which makes clear that providing copyright is acknowledged, and no commercial use of made without permission, copyright is no bar to publication of FoIA responses).  

The attachment referred to in 5. below is here (note that this appears to be the original advert issued for the post of WYO/CWYM Director from 2008 and the job description does not seem to have been changed since then).  I did consider redacting the salary information, but a) this was a public advert from 2008, b) it is 9 years old, and c) there is no bar under FoIA to publishing it, and d) my comment is that (as I have mentioned previously to the College in comments about sustainability/best practice is to avoid the need for large sudden increases in course fees by making small regular increments to keep pace with inflation/market rates), like other rates paid to CWYM staff, it seems low compared to the quality of the work done. (I reiterate what I have said many times before, i have no criticisms of the quality of the output from the Centre, my concerns are to do with its current management style and the degree of cooperation/communication with schools and other musical ensembles in the area).  

Start of Freedom of Information request response

From: Group: Freedom of Information [mailto:freedomofinformation@bpc.ac.uk

Sent: 14 March 2017 12:43
To: (Patrick Lee email address)
Subject: Freedom of Information Request Ref No. F0082
Dear Mr Lee
We have now provided the information you asked for in your first Freedom of Information request reference No. F0082 (please find attached/below in red).
1.    A copy of the rehearsal schedules of the Wessex Youth Orchestra (WYO) during the past term (i.e. covering rehearsals during the period September 2016 to December 2016 inclusive, and including both the schedule as first issued, together with any revisions to the schedule).
      Copy attached
2.   For each version of the schedule, on what date(s) was it issued to players or their parents?
      It was issued at the beginning of the term.
3.   For each version of the schedule, which schools were informed about the schedule, and which roles at those schools (e.g. Head of Music) were informed and on what dates?
      It is sent to parents of the students. With reference to schools; for events taking place on a school day, e.g. The Royal Albert Hall in November 2017 which was a Wednesday, the Wessex Youth Orchestra write direct to the school and the students are also provided with a letter to give to the school giving them the information and requesting permission for the student to participate.
4.   For each version of the schedule, please provide a copy as far as possible that is substantially identical to that provided to players or their parents, including details of instructions, including which rehearsals were marked “red” (compulsory).
      Copy attached as per 1. above
5.   A copy of the current Job Description for the Director of the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians.  Also, when was this last changed, and what were the changes?
      Copy attached
With reference to these documents, I wonder if you would give me some indication as to the purpose behind your request, as they are not generally openly published unless for very specific purposes at particular times. Within this context, as these are College documents, I would ask you not to copy or publish them in any public domain without reference back to me first. 
The supply of information in response to a freedom of information request does not confer an automatic right to re-use the information.  Under UK copyright law you can use any information supplied for the purposes of private study and non-commercial research without requiring permission. 
Should you have any concerns about any of the College’s operations or the management thereof, including any complaints about any College employees, we do have a published complaints procedure (attached) which is specifically designed to allow any such issues or concerns to be addressed to the college so that they can be properly investigated and responded to. This would also allow us to answer any specific questions and concerns you may have directly. 
Please contact me directly if I can advise you further about this process.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Ken Roberts
Executive Director of Resources
The Bournemouth & Poole College
North Road
Parkstone, Poole

BH14 0LS

End of Freedom of Information request response

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