Some time ago, on one of the Facebook group, a user decided to send out application to randomly selected schools, asking for access to public information, including the statute of each education center. The interesting this was that the user has rarely been given a positive response on his request.
Some of the centers have not provided the said user with the feedback, some sent him messages suggesting him to be an intruder or a person acting to the detriment of the entity. Unfortunately, it seems that the vast majority of individuals managing education centers are not familiar with their liabilities when it comes to presentation of public information.
Legal nature of the school statute
To begin with, it is worth noting that the statute is a document of the school’s internal law. Its subjective scope comprises all members of the school society, including teachers, students and parents. Therefore, the headmaster’s liability should be making it public, providing a free access to its content. It proves that the school statute is public information.
Presenting the school statue as public information
Access to public information, i.e. the school statute is anchored in the constitutional right to gain information on activities carried out by the authorities. In accordance with Art. 4, item. 1 of the Act on Access to Public Information (AAPI), the entities obliged to provide public information include public authorities. School is undoubtedly an entity that exercises public tasks in the field of education and a headmaster is a public authority.
Moreover, the authority heading the educational center shall keep the Public Information Bulletin and information and publish information in it (Art. 8, items 2 and 3 of AAPI). Thus, the simplest solution is to make the school status available in the Public Information Bulletin. Unless it is released in the bulletin, it shall be presented upon the request.
The school statue is public information and shall be made available upon the request of anyone interested.
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland of April 2, 1997 r. (Journal of Laws, No 78, item. 483)
Act on Access to Public Information of September 6, 2001 (Journal of Laws, No 112, item 1198 as amended.), http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20011121198/U/D20011198Lj.pdf