Shame on Riverside Primary School in Wirral, which is forcing a parent to use the Freedom of Information Act just to obtain some routine information after her son was injured in the school playground.

A spokesman confirmed: “Any request for school policy documents must be submitted in writing and responded to within 20 working days, as per Freedom of Information Act guidelines.”

No, actually, they don’t. A school can volunteer any document they want. The FOIA sets out minimum standards for releasing information, and any public authority can chose to be more open if it so choses. There is no requirement to make citizens jump through the formal hoops to gain access to information. [ADDED 8.1.2006]