ICO upholds Councils' decision to withhold information relating to exclusions from schools

The Information Commissioner’s Office has upheld decisions made by three Welsh councils that details relating to the number of exclusions from named schools in the region should not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The ruling by the ICO follows requests to Cardiff, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf councils for the number of pupils excluded from named schools following drug finds during 2004-05 and 2005-06.

The requester was provided with the number of exclusions as a result of drug finds across the boroughs.

But, in all cases, the local authorities argued disclosing the number of exclusions in relation to particular schools would breach the Data Protection Act because the information could be used to identify a living individual.

The ICO agrees with the authorities’ views that the disclosure of the personal information about an identifiable young person who has been excluded from school would be unfair and would therefore be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Councils’ decision to withhold information upheld (Western Mail, 11 June 2008)