Finding out what is going on in your area

Here’s a few tips on submitting Freedom of Information requests to find out what is going on in your area…

We suggest using and amending the wording of this request. Requests are more likely to succeed when they are very specific, limited in scope say to a known provider(s) in a localised geographical area and possibly operating mandated work placements from a quoted street address.

All Freedom of Information Act request should go direct to the DWP. We recommend using this website so that the results of your FoI request are published in the public domain. Requests can of course also be sent direct to the DWP via

Much of a provider’s information will be commercially sensitive, but if it has a direct bearing on DWP customers referred to Welfare to Work providers, then a FOI request may lead to disclosure.

Good example of requests can be found here.

Recent successful requests can be found here and here.

If you would like comments on your draft request, you can contact a supporter who has agreed to help: foi[at]


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Louise Whittle

I have written to Labour councillors in Bromley asking them to investigate the extent of unpaid labour is being used in the council and whether they will challenge and condemn this practice???

I think it is important to contact councillors especially Labour ones re unpaid labour used by councils and ask them to condemn it.


it was very noticeable how the numebr of "diagnoses" and "labels" suddenly boomed when schools budgets began being adjusted for taking on such children...Yes, diagnosing these conditions has improved no end (which is great) but be aware that labelling certain children as having special educational needs does sometimes have benefits in common for parents, headteachers and the more idle of our social workers/medicos alike...Again I'm not saying that the conditions involved don't exist...far from it, I'm sure a lot of kids are still missing out on the help they really need because they're not attention-seekers and try too hard to help themselves...But I fear that a lot of children who lag in perhaps just one subject, or who through upbringing are of a disruptive nature, for example, are being rather facilely labelled in this fashion (a) for budgetary reasons,(b) to get round awkward Ofsted statistics, and (c) because on certain sink-estates it's almost a matter of pride to be able to claim your child has SENs (which is something I wouldn't have really believed until I came across it personally a few years back) ... and sometimes it's simply anything to avoid having junior labelled as the bullying little b****r he really is.It's difficult...but I sincerely believe the wrong people may in a lot of cases, be getting the benefits, whilst other suffer in silence...who knows what the correct figures really are?


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