4. Check to see if there is an outstanding request

The family may have already requested the files from the school or other services either in writing or verbally.

Subject Access Request

The family may not realise that they have made an SAR. However, any request which is plainly a request for personal information should be treated as a request under the subject access procedures, even if it is not labelled as such. SARs can be made in writing and orally. 

It will be helpful to ask the family about any requests they have made and ask them to provide you with any requests that were made in writing. If a request for information was made verbally, make a note of the date as this will help you to obtain the records more quickly. You can count the time limit for the SAR as starting from the date the first request was made.

Freedom of Information Request

Similar rules apply to FOI requests. An FOI does not need to be correctly labelled to be a compliant request. However, an FOI request does need to be made in writing.

It will be helpful to ask the family about any requests they have made and ask them to provide you with any requests that were made in writing. If they made them orally, you will need to make a fresh FOI request in writing.


Once you have checked if there family have made an outstanding request, go to the next step.

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