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Birmingham Grid for Learning (BGfL) Thread, School Budgets open to everyone?! in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); After having been told off for finding out what our budget is for next year - BY GOOGLING(!) Birmingham Schools ...
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    Trapper's Avatar
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    School Budgets open to everyone?!

    After having been told off for finding out what our budget is for next year - BY GOOGLING(!) Birmingham Schools budget and going to the BGfL page hosting it all - is this information supposed to be public?

    I assumed either it's open only to schools on the Grid - so all staff could see it, or that the Council legally had to publicise it.

    Some folks in finance take the view that I've "gone snooping" and "hacked around" to find it!

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    I can see the pages and we're not BGfL

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    I can see the page too
    I can click on individual schools and then click on School Budget Share. Quite a lot of them are blank, but some are not

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    Trapper's Avatar
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    Bizarre. Not sure if Council cock up, or the finance team just don't know it's publicly accessible!

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    Can see it here too :P

    Steve

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    We have the same in Norfolk - I don't really think there's a problem though - the public being able to see how public money is divided up?

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    Isn't it only past years that are showing though? 12/13?

    Steve

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    The problem there is you used technology. To hide your tracks you need to do it old school. You can hack into similar information by going to an Information Broker. This "Mr Smith" can be found in Most towns. He uses the initials W.H. Look him up. Then get on your raincoat, dark glasses and a trilby, go to his establishment and the code you ask for is "Times Please mate, with the TES". Pretend to look at your watch as if checking the "Time" it all adds to the subterfuge. He'll hand you a dossier with all kind of information in that the school don't want you to know. Be careful not to leave it lying about though!

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    Nope, I have just had a look and can see 13/14 and 14/15 data too

    Although I should note - some items are password protected. One of these is a SEN document so I guess it's more detailed on how they arrived at the SEN funding arrangement.
    Last edited by cullingsh; 31st March 2014 at 12:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cullingsh View Post
    Nope, I have just had a look and can see 13/14 and 14/15 data too
    Which one is that on? Just had a flick and couldn't see any past 12/13 but may just be luck

    Steve

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    It should be this way - the council are providing a public service and as with any public service, the finances should be available to all for scrutiny.

    Not quite sure why you're being told off for something which should be in the public domain?

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    They publish the data to cut down on the amount of Freedom of Information requests.

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    This is public data, if it wasn't on the net a simple FOI request and you will have the same information.

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    @Trapper - as others said, it's public data and could be retrieved by anyone putting in an FOI request even if it wasn't. If they have genuinely implied that you have 'hacked' the system to get this information, you need to make sure it's very clear you haven't as that could get you hauled over the coals if overheard by the wrong person. Got to watch your back!

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    "Local Education Authorities (LEAs) are required, under Section 52 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, to prepare a Budget Statement each financial year."

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