Make requests for information

Make requests for information


Making a request for information through both SAR and FOI procedures is straightforward.

Subject access request

To make an SAR write to the data controller setting out the request. Include the signed forms of authority of the young person or a person with parental responsibility.

Set out a list of records you want and provide a date that you have calculated as the deadline for the request. This should be one calendar month after the date of the request. However, even within this time limit, the data controller must act without undue delay.

For maintained schools, there is a separate right of access under the education regulations, which gives the deadline for the release of the school file as 15 school days. This right is not as far-reaching as an SAR, because an SAR can get you more than is on a school file. However, for the purpose of getting the file quickly, it can be helpful to use whichever deadline comes soonest.

Freedom of information

FOIs are more difficult to draft because public bodies can reject them if they would be too burdensome to fulfil. This means you need to make questions broad enough to cover all the information you want, but not so broad that they cost too much to fulfil. They should be clear to ensure that they can be easily understood, and you will receive the information you need.


Next step?

Once you have made the relevant requests for information, continue to the next step. 



On this page

This information is correct at the time of writing, 5th September 2023. The law in this area is subject to change.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre cannot be held responsible if changes to the law outdate this publication. Individuals may print or photocopy information in CCLC publications for their personal use.

Professionals, organisations and institutions must obtain permission from the CCLC to print or photocopy our publications in full or in part.