Freedom of Information Act

Publication Scheme

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 Macclesfield 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

4.1 Macclesfield College provides education and training programmes for full and part-time students at its Park Lane site and through the Community Education Centres in the Macclesfield District. Around 4,000 students enrol each autumn, with many more joining part time classes and short courses through the year.

4.2 In 1993 the College became a Corporation funded through the Further Education Funding Council (now the Learning Skills Council). Cheshire County Council continues to fund a proportion of community education and courses for people with learning difficulties/disabilities.

4.3 The College has some 70 full time and approximately 200 part time teaching staff, and 75 full and part time business support staff. The College is recognised as an Investor in People, and has also been awarded Chartermark for recognised customer service standards.

4.4 Macclesfield College will encourage and support learning and achievement, by young people and adults, to enrich individual lives, promote social inclusion and provide skills required by the local and regional economies. It will do so by delivering the highest quality of education and training, designed to meet the needs and aspirations of individuals, industry and the communities it serves, in an efficient and effective manner.

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: Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer, Macclesfield College, Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8LF.

Telephone: 01625 410000
Email:

If you require information in alternative formats (e.g. large print, Braille, tape) or in an alternative language please contact the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer as above.

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 will 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 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.

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.

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer, Macclesfield College, Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8LF .

Telephone: 01625 410000
Email :

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

9. How much do printed publications cost?

9.1 Printed information on courses and services offered by the college is available free of charge, as are packs issued to people responding to notices of job vacancies. Information retrieved from the College web site is free. A small charge will be made to print this information on College equipment and materials. A computer with access to the College web site is available in The Enrolment Centre. If requested, we will produce publications in other formats; in these cases we will usually make a charge, amounting to the cost of producing the item in the format requested and sending it.

Class 1. Governance

Introduction

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 1. Governance
  Class Description Manner Fee

1.1

Legal framework

This class contains information relating to how the institution was established and its standing from the point of view of the law. The corporate status of the College was conferred by the Education Reform Act 1988 and the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The actual legislation is already publicly available, e.g. on the HMSO web site and is not duplicated here.

The College has a legal basis, which forms its legal status. This legal status can have been obtained in a variety of ways such as by Instruments and Articles of Government, Charter or an Act of Parliament.

Available as Instruments and Articles of Governance in paper format.

A fee is charged.

1.2

How the institution is organised

This class contains information relating to how the individual units of the institution are organised and where each unit fits in the overall structure of the institution. It includes:

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

Available from:

Principal's Office
Clerk to the Corporation
(paper)

A fee is charged for this information.

1.3

Information on the institutional context

This class includes information on:

• The FE corporation's Mission statement
• The FE corporation's corporate plan
• Statement of the FE corporation's quality assurance policies and procedures

The FE corporation's teaching and learning strategy and periodic reviews of progress

Available from

Principal's Office

Teaching and Learning Standards Committee records, Corporate/Development Plan and staff handbook

A fee is charged for paper copies except where freely available via web site or prospectus

1.4

Management structure

This class contains information relating to how the institution's management structure is organised and the function and purpose of each part of the management structure. This includes:

• Corporation organisation chart

List of names of members of the Corporation and positions they hold

• Code of Conduct for members of governing bodies

• Description of the sub-structures and committees supporting them. This may include Academic Boards, Boards of Governors and Steering Groups

• Objectives and terms of reference, membership and mode of operation of all boards and committees in the formal structure

Available from Clerk to the Corporation in paper format.

A fee is charged for each of these documents

   

• Code of practice for college elections and committee procedures

Code of Disclosure of Matters of Public Interest

Available from Clerk to the Corporation in paper format.

A fee is charged

   

• Minutes and papers of Governing Body, Corporation meetings and Steering Groups etc

Available from Clerk to the Corporation in paper format.

A fee is charged

   

• Appointment committees and procedures

Available from Clerk to the Corporation in paper format.

A fee is charged

Class 2. Financial Resources

Introduction

This section covers information on the institution's strategy and management of financial resources. The Finance Department 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. Wherever possible summary information which does not damage the institution's commercial interests will be provided.

Class 2. Financial Resources
  Class Description Manner Fee

2.1

Finance

Examples of the type of information in this class include policies and procedures relating to:

• Three Year Financial Forecast
• College Annual Accounts

Available in paper and electronic form

A fee is charged for each item.

   

Financial Regulations including:

• Contracting
• Goods and services

Available in paper and electronic form

A fee is charged for each item.

   

• Insurance schedule documents
• Pensions information from payroll returns

Available in paper form

A fee is charged for each item.

   

• Remuneration of senior staff (published in College Annual Accounts)
• Travel and subsistence expenses (from monthly spreadsheet)

Available in paper and electronic form

A fee is charged for each item.

2.2

Resource planning

This class includes information that defines how the college undertakes its planning and resource allocation, how it regulates the deployment of resources and how it publishes the outcomes. It includes:

• College Strategic Plan
• Financial regulations, including procurement policy
• College Annual accounts (including annual report)
• Annual budget (as appears in the final accounts)
• Planning and budgeting procedures
• Corporate plan/Mission statement

Three Year Financial Forecast

• Annual report

Available in paper or electronic form

A fee is charged for each item.

Class 3. Human Resources

Introduction

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 3. Human Resources
  Class Description Manner Fee

3.1

Employment and employee relations

This class includes the Staff handbook which includes policies, statements, procedures and guidelines relating to recruitment

• Generic terms and conditions of employment
• Grievance procedures and policies
• Disciplinary procedures and policies
• Harassment and bullying policy
• Public interest disclosure (for compliance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act)

Staff handbook and draft contracts available in paper format and electronically

A fee is charged for each item

   

• Collective bargaining procedures and consultation with recognised trade unions and professional organisations, and agreements reached

Available from Personnel procedures book

A fee is charged for each item

   

• Health and safety policy and procedures in staff handbook and health and safety manual.

Available in paper format and electronically

A fee is charged for each item

   

• Job vacancies on internal notice boards, the internet and advertised externally

Available in paper format from Human Resources

 

3.2

Equal opportunities /Diversity

Information in this class includes College 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:

• Equal Opportunities Policy
• Equal Opportunities Code of Practice
• Equal Opportunities Best Practice Guide
• Inclusive Learning Principles And Policy
• Race Equality Policy

Available in paper format and electronically

A fee is charged for each item

3.3

Human resources strategy

The Human Resources strategy sets out the general aims of the institution, priority areas and plans for addressing them.

Available in paper format and electronically

A fee is charged

3.4

Staff development

This class includes information on staff development and training, including induction programmes, probation and appraisal. The information in this class includes is detailed in the staff handbook and includes:

• Induction Policy
• Probationary Policy
• Appraisal and performance review
• Staff Development Policy
• Staff Development Action Plan
• Policy on job re-grading

Available in paper format and electronically

A fee is charged for each item

Class 4. Physical Resources

Introduction

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 4. Physical Resources
  Class Description Manner Fee

4.1

Estates

Information in this class includes:

• Estates strategy and plan. Please note that sections detailing the College's future plans are not available for publication.

Available in paper format from the Director of Corporate Services

A fee is charged

   

• Tendering policies

Available from the Financial Procedures Manual

A fee is charged

   

• Catering policies
• Cleaning policies
• Grounds maintenance and upkeep

Outsourced. Information available from Estates Manager

A fee is charged for each item

   

• Building maintenance and upkeep
• Disposal policies
• Map of main site (and directions available on College web site)
• Address of main site and any other locations
• Environmental Policy
• Disposal policies

Information available in paper format

A fee is charged except where available via the College website

Class 5. Student Administration and Support

Introduction

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 5. Student Administration and Support
  Class Description Manner Fee

5.1

Information on student admission, progression and completion

This class includes information recommended to be made available by the Cooke report under this heading (as above).

• 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

Available as summary reports on paper or electronically.

A fee is charged

5.2

Student accommodation

• The College does not cater for students who live away from home and does not have halls of residence. The College has no responsibility for students' residential arrangements.

n/a

n/a

5.3

Student administration

This class includes information relating to all areas of the maintenance of individual student records, including policies and procedures covering the management of the student records system itself, and the division of responsibilities between central registry staff, school/faculty/college staff and the students themselves. Examples of the type of information in this class include:

• MIS student records policies and procedures documents
• IT security and data protection policy documents

Available as paper or electronic documents.

A fee is charged

5.4

Student admission and enrolment

This class includes information relating to the admissionenrolment of new students, including policies and procedures covering the assessment of external qualifications, the creation of student records, the coordination of student funding arrangements and the division of responsibilities between central admissions or equivalent and college/school/faculty staff. An example of the type of information in this class is:

• College application form for full-time courses
• Fees and Finance
• Procedures for applying to courses
• College Enrolment Form
• Application and Enrolment procedures
• College Learning Agreement

Available as paper or electronic documents.

No charge

5.5

Student discipline

This class includes information relating to the conduct of disciplinary proceedings against students. Examples of the type of information in this class include:

• Student discipline and harassment policy and procedure documents
• Internal student complaint and appeals procedures

Available in paper and electronic form

A fee is charged

5.6

Student learning support services

This class includes information on student support services from an academic and learning perspective, particularly those not covered under Information Services. This appears in the Student Handbook, the Tutorial Resource Manual or as separate policy documents. It includes:

• Disability Statement
• Equal Opportunities Policy
• Equal Opportunities Code of Practice
• Procedure for Dealing with Harassment, Bullying,
• Additional Support policy and procedures
• Induction guidelines
• Guidelines for assessment of key and basic skills
• Student guide to action planning
• Getting the most from tutorials
• What is my learning style?
• Student attendance, retention and achievement strategies

Available in paper and electronic form

A fee is charged per item

5.7

Student liaison

Reports from staff/student focus group meetings

Available in paper format

A fee is charged

5.8

Other student policies

This class includes a guide to all student policies issued by the institution:

• Policies relating to students not included elsewhere in the PS

n/a

 

5.9

Student welfare

This information is published as part of the Student Handbook. It includes information on:

• Welfare/advice and counselling services
• Health services
• Careers services
• Sports and recreational facilities
• Finance and learner support funds

Available in paper format

A fee is charged per item

5.10

Student Associations and Activities

This class covers information relating to the operation and activities of the Students' Union and other clubs and associations, and other non-academic activities organised by/for students.

It should be noted that students at Macclesfield College are (voluntarily) members of the Loughborough Students Union, which is a body independent of the college

   

Class 6. Information Services

Introduction

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 the learning resource centre, computing services and management information services. Management information services invariably hold large quantities of personal data, which cannot be divulged, as this would breach the Data protection Act 1998.

Class 6. Information Services
  Class Description Manner Fee

6.1

Availability and conditions of use of facilities

Information in these classes provides details about who can access systems and services and the facilities that they can access. They also provide assurance for external bodies/individuals that rules exist to ensure that breaches of conditions of use (eg breach of copyright, email spamming of an external site) are appropriately dealt with. Information in this class is covered in the Learning Resource Centre guidelines and ILT policies. Specific detail of user access rights to computer systems and databases is excluded on the grounds of confidentiality. It includes:

• Learning Resource Centre Guidelines (including opening hours).
• Information on IT helpdesk opening times and scheduled maintenance times of systems
• Policy on acceptable use of College computers, email and the internet
• 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 (e.g. no smoking/drinking/eating)
• The policy with regard to copyright law
• Policy on the acceptance of IT system staff and student users including temporary staff, short course / conference / 'taster session' students
• JANET acceptable use rules
• Athens registration rules

Available in paper or electronically

A fee is charged per item

   

• The JANET acceptable use and security policy is available here

   
   

• Access to / use of Archives, including how far back in time information exists and if so to what extent it is available. This is governed by the College Document retention schedule.

Available electronically

A fee is charged

   

• Procedures for logging and monitoring staff and student use of computer systems and LRC facilities in case of breach of conditions of use are detailed in the College acceptable use policy; Financial procedures and the Library overdues policy.

Available in paper or electronically

A fee is charged per item

6.2

Mission statements and related documents

This class includes 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. It is included in the ILT strategy and the LRC Service Standards.

Available in paper or electronically

A fee is charged per item

6.3

Policies with regard to data and information

Information in this class offers assurances to data subjects, whether they are individuals or companies that deal with the institution, that data relating to them is being handled well, minimising the risk of unauthorised access or disclosure. Examples of the type of information in this class include:

Data protection policy

• Information Security policy (ie how the data is protected).

Available in paper or electronically

A fee is charged per item

6.4

Procurement and disposal policies

Information in this class offers assurances that monies are being appropriately spent and assurances that procurement is fair and open. The disposal policies also assure that the institution is making correct and appropriate use of funds. It includes:

• Policies relating to the procurement and disposal of equipment as defined in College financial procedures
• Collection management/preservation strategy (including policy on disposal of stock)
• Asset register (prepared annually)

Available in paper or electronically

A fee is charged per item

6.5

Scope of collections held

This class covers how the material in the Learning Resources Centre is catalogued. It includes:

• Classification Guide
• Electronic Library
• On-line Catalogue
• Paper Catalogue
• Guides to collections
• Scope and availability of catalogues

Available from Learning Resources Centre

A fee is charged per item.

6.6

ILT strategy

This class covers the college's strategy in relation to the use of Information and Learning Technology and includes:

• ILT Strategy

ILT Manager (available on paper or electronically)

A fee is charged

The types of information and documents listed in the classes are examples only and not mandatory, eg 'Cleaning policies'. The purpose of the examples is to indicate the type of information that should be made available, if held, via the MPS.

Class 7. Teaching and Learning

Introduction

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.

Class 7. Teaching and Learning
  Class Description Manner Fee

7.1

Academic year dates

This class covers term dates for the current academic year, and, from about February, the dates for the following academic year. The information is published in the Student Handbook, course publicity materials including the prospectus and on the College web site. It includes:

• Term Dates - Full-time
• Term Dates - Part-time

Available in paper and electronically

No charge

7.2

Further course information

This class includes information relating to particular schools and departments, also information relating to programmes and qualifications. (This class will not include information for which exemption might be claimed under S.43 Commercial Interest for example course learning materials and content). Examples of the type of information in this class include :

• Structure of courses
• Qualifications gained
• Changing courses
• Work experience

Available in paper and electronically

No charge

7.3

Information on internal procedures for assuring academic quality and standards

This class includes information about the institution's internal quality audit programmes and annual review. It includes information on the college's internal procedures for assuring academic quality and standards. This information is kept in Quality Assurance manual and Committee records; Course and student review records; Internal Validation Committee records and external validation reports and includes:

a) Information on programme approval, monitoring and review:

Internal Validation Committee records and terms of reference

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

Available in paper or electronically

 
   

b) Information on assessment procedures and outcomes:

• Assessment strategies, processes and procedures
• The range and nature of student work

Available in paper or electronically

 
   

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
• Perceptions of the quality of teaching and the range of teaching and learning methods
• Assessment arrangements
• Quality of pastoral support

Student Perception Reports, available from Marketing Manager

 
   

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

• The effectiveness of teaching and learning, in relation to programme aims and curriculum content as they evolve over time
• The range of teaching methods used
• 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

Self Assessment Report,

Course Reviews, Management Reviews

 

7.4

Staffing structure of schools/

departments

This class includes information about staff roles within schools and departments, together with organisational charts and is included in the College organisational structure with details of:

• Job titles of academic staff and support staff
• Contact details for each school/department

Available in paper and electronic format

A fee is charged

7.5

Student assessment strategy

This class covers information about the institution's internal quality audit programmes and review. Includes:

• Quality Assurance Procedures including student and course review
• Equal Opportunities Policy and Code of Practice
• Programme specifications are available on the websites of the various awarding bodies e.g.

Edexcel: www.edexcel.org.uk
OCR: www.ocr.org.uk
City & Guilds: www.cityandguilds.org.uk
NOCN: www.nocn.org.uk

Other information in this class includes:

• Examination periods
• Examination regulations
• Appeal procedures
• Policy on plagiarism
• External examination bodies

Available in paper format.

A fee is charged per item.

7.6

Tuition fees

This class includes information relating to tuition fees for UK , EU and other international students including information on when tuition fees will be payable and how to pay. This information is recorded in the College Fees Policy.

Available in paper and electronic format

A fee is charged

Class 8. External Relations

Introduction

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 8. External Relations
  Class Description Manner Fee

8.1

Community liaison

(Optional)

This class contains information about the College's relationship with the local community. The information included within this class represents the institution's approach to maintaining and fostering that relationship. The type of information in this class includes:

• Policies relating to the institution's community relations
• Mission Statement
• Learner's Entitlement Statement
• Equal Opportunities Policies
• Complaints Procedure

Available in paper and electronic format

A fee is charged per item

8.2

Fundraising

(Optional)

This class relates to activities to raise additional revenue to that provided by its main funding bodies. The College does not enter into any additional fundraising activities.

n/a

n/a

8.3

Government and Regulator relations

This class relates to the information that the institution is legally obliged to make available to its funding and/or monitoring bodies. Such material may provide information as to how well the institution is performing. Examples of the type of information in this class include:

• Reports/returns to funding councils, inspectorates, standards bodies, research councils, professional bodies, government departments etc

Information on the institution's ratings, such as 'league tables' and other external accreditation. This is generally published on various national websites. A level and Vocational qualifications, GCSE results are available here.

Learning and Skills Council website: http://www.lsc.gov.uk

Available in paper and electronic format

A fee is charged per item

   

• OFSTED Inspections (for FE), Teaching Quality Assessment and Research Assessment Exercise Policies (see also Teaching and Learning)

Inspections and Reviews
Ofsted: www.ofsted.gov.uk
ALI: www.ali.gov.uk
QAA Reviews of Higher Education: www.qaa.ac.uk

Paper copy of Ofsted inspection report available

A fee is charged for this item

8.4

Marketing and recruitment

This class includes publications relating to student recruitment (UK and International), including the college prospectus. It also includes information related to the learning experience. Please also see Student Administration and Support. Examples of the type of information in this class include:

• Prospectus
• Learners' Entitlement Statement
• Course Information Sheets
• Promotional Leaflets and posters
• Open days
• Entry requirements
• Widening participation

Available in paper and electronic format

A fee is charged per item

8.5

Public relations

This class contains information that is created specifically by the institution to help publicise its facilities and activities. The majority of such information will have been created for prospective and current students, but may still be of considerable interest to those wishing to know more about what the institution has to offer and the activities of its students and staff. Examples of the type of information in this class include:

• Press releases
• Prospectus
• Course brochures
• Newsletters and magazines
• Student welcome pack

Available in paper and electronic format

A fee is charged per item

Where these are already in the public domain web links should be provided or details of how they can be obtained.