The College has adopted the model publication scheme which has been prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner. Accordingly, the College is committed to making information available to the public as part of its normal activities. The information covered is included in the classes of information mentioned below, where this information is held by the College.

The College’s commitments under the scheme are to:

  • Publish actively or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which is held by the College and falls within the classifications listed.
  • Specify the information which is held by the College and falls within the classifications listed;
  • Publish actively or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme;
  • Produce and publish the methods by which information is routinely made available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public;
  • Review and update on a regular basis the information the College makes available under this scheme;
  • Produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made available proactively;
  • Make this publication scheme available to the public.

Classes of Information

1. Who we are and what we do

Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

2. What we spend and how we spend it

Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

3. What our priorities are and how we are doing

Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

4. How we make decisions

Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

5. Our policies and procedures

Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

6. Lists and registers

Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the College.

7. The services we offer

Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases. A description of the services offered.

The classes of information will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form.
  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

Legal requirement

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.

‘Public authorities’ are defined in the Act and include universities, further education colleges and sixth form colleges.

What is a publication scheme?

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.

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.

The ‘model’ publication scheme for higher education

The College has adopted the Information Commissioner’s Office’s model publication scheme, and is committed to publishing the information it describes.

The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available

The College will indicate clearly to the public what information is covered by this scheme and how it can be obtained.

Where it is within the capability of the College, information specified in this scheme will be provided on its website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on its website or when an individual reasonably does not wish to access the information by the website, the College will indicate how information can be obtained by other means and provide it by those means.

In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this manner is specified, contact details will be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where the College is legally required to translate any information, it will do so.

Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

Accessing information covered by the publication scheme

The classes of information we publish are described above.

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.

To request information available through our publication scheme other than that available via the web, please contact: Freedom of Information, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, CB2 3HU,

Please note that a publication scheme relates to ‘published’ information. Therefore, material covered has already been prepared in a format ready for distribution.

Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by the College for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.

Material which is published and accessed on the College’s website will be provided free of charge.

Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified by Parliament.

Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as:

  • Photocopying
  • Postage and packaging
  • The costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information

Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by public authorities, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.

Written requests for information not covered by the publication scheme

From 1 January 2005, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 gave the right to request any information held by a public authority which it has not already made available through its publication scheme.

Information held by the College that is not published under this Scheme must be requested in writing to; the College normally will respond to requests within 20 working days. Supply of any such requested information will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. A fee may be charged, which will be calculated to cover the cost of actual disbursements incurred, or under any Fees Regulations as specified above.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.

The College is not required to release information to which an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act legitimately applies. However, the College may be required to explain to the applicant why the information will not be released, and may have to justify this decision to the Information Commissioner’s Office.


Copies of the College’s own publications within this scheme may be requested and provided for purposes of private study or non-commercial research. Applications for commercial reproduction should be made in writing to Freedom of Information, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, CB2 3HU,


It is intended that this publication scheme should be clear and intelligible. If you find the scheme difficult to understand, please let us know. The College welcomes suggestions as to how its scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent in writing to Freedom of Information, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, CB2 3HU,

If you have put a complaint in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer and are not content with the response, you may refer the issue to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the independent body which oversees the Freedom of Information Act.

Further information

More information about the Freedom of Information Act is available on the Information Commissioner’s Office’s website.

Download the Publication Scheme