Skip to content

Freedom of information and subject access requests

Advice for governance professionals responding to requests for information.


Anyone has a right to request information from a public authority (such as a school or trust). For a request to be valid under the Freedom of Information Act, it has to be made in writing. This could be via email, paper or a social media platform such as Twitter.

A subject access request (SAR) is a request made by or on behalf of an individual for copies of personal information held by a public authority (such as a school or trust). Individuals are entitled to ask for such information under the UK GDPR.

Our FAQs are intended to help governance professionals respond to freedom of information (FOI) and subject access requests that relate to governance in their school or trust. The questions covered reflect those commonly received by our Gold Advice service, including:

  • how to respond to a request
  • whether a request can be refused
  • how to find and retrieve relevant information

Member-only content

Want to read this?

Become a member

NGA members get exclusive access to hundreds of practical resources including guidance, checklists and planners.

We’re here to support you at every stage of your governance journey with expert advice, training, events, and much more.

Already a member?

Log in

Related content