The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

We are committed to openness and transparency and we recognise our UK statutory obligations under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations. This policy will apply to all locations where we operate.

We aim to make information about our organisation and what we do readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost, subject to the appropriate statutory costs limits.

The British Council is committed to:

  • maintaining a ‘publication scheme’, approved by the UK’s Information Commissioner, which sets out the types of information the British Council will make available to the public
  • publishing information in accordance with its publication scheme
  • responding to information requests in a timely fashion and in a way which achieves transparency and accountability
  • if complaints arise, conducting impartial reviews in accordance with good practice
  • regularly reviewing its performance in fulfilling its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations
  • having appropriately trained and qualified staff to ensure compliance with this policy
  • adopting appropriate records management policies and procedures.

The British Council’s Chief Executive is the British Council’s ‘qualified person’ for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and has overall responsibility for ensuring we comply with our obligations.

The Secretary to the British Council or their nominee is responsible for hearing complaints relating to this policy.

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this global policy statement and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this global policy statement annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.

This global policy statement was approved by Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, in April 2024 and is due for review in March 2025.

See also