Gonzalez-Barbosa and Department of Education

Application number:
1995 S0160
Decision date:
Friday, Jun 07, 1996

Gonzalez-Barbosa and Department of Education
(1995 S0160, 7 June 1996) 

This was a 'reverse-FOI' case. The documents in issue were letters from the solicitor's for a teacher who had been involved in an altercation with a student. The letters concerned the possibility of temporary suspension of the teacher, and of disciplinary action against the teacher. 

The Information Commissioner found that the letters were not exempt under s.44(1) as disclosure would not disclose information concerning the personal affairs of the teacher. Throughout the altercation, the teacher was acting as an officer of the school, attempting to regulate the behaviour of the child.  The letters were properly characterised as relating to the teacher's employment rather than being of a private character.