Information not included in the scheme may be requested in writing and Downing College will respond in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. This publication scheme follows the model prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner.
The College's e-mail address for Freedom of Information Act enquiries is email@example.com
This College makes information available to the public as part of its normal activities. The information covered is included in the classes of information mentioned below, where this information is held by the College.
The College intends:
- to publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below;
- to specify the information which is held by the College and falls within the classifications below;
- to publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information described in this scheme;
- to publish the methods by which information is routinely made available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public;
- to review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under this scheme;
- to produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made available;
- to make this publication scheme available to the public.
Classes of Information
Who we are and what we do
- Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.
What we spend and how we spend it
- Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.
What our priorities are and how we are doing
- Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.
How we make decisions
- Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.
Our policies and procedures
- Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.
Lists and registers
- Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the College.
The services we offer
Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases. A description of the services offered.
The classes of information will not generally include:
- Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
- Information in draft form.
- Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.
The method by which information published under this scheme will be made available
The College will indicate clearly to the public what information is covered by this scheme and how it can be obtained.
Where it is within the capability of the College, information will be provided on its website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on its website or when an individual does not wish to access the information by the website, the College will indicate how information can be obtained by other means and provide it by those means.
In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. Where this manner is specified, contact details will be provided. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.
Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where an authority is legally required to translate any information, it will do so.
Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.
Charges which may be made for information published under this scheme
The purpose of this scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by the College for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.
Material which is published and accessed on the College’s website will be provided free of charge.
Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified by Parliament.
Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as:
- postage and packaging
- the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information.
Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by public authorities, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.
If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.
1 Who we are and what we do
1.1 Legal framework
1.2 How the institution is organised
The College is administered by the Governing Body, consisting of the Master and Fellows of the College, in accordance with the Statutes and Ordinances of the College. The principal officers of the College include the Master, Vice-Master, Senior Bursar, Senior Tutor and Dean.
The organisational structure of the management of the College and the various College committees, with procedural notes, is summarised in the College’s Annual Report.
Details about the teaching aspect of the College's organisation can be found in the Teaching and Exams section of this website.
1.3 Location and contact details
1.4 Lists of and information relating to organisations which the College has responsibility for, those it works in partnership with, those it sponsors and those wholly owned by it
The College is a registered charity and its registration number is 1137455.
The College works in partnership with the University of Cambridge to provide academic services and pastoral support to students of the University.
The College wholly owns the registered companies Downing College Developments Ltd and Downing College Conference Ltd.
Two companies use the College as their registered address but are not overseen or controlled by the College: these are Cambridge Temperature Concepts and Sonnet Models. The College has a self-governing alumni association ( the Downing Association) whose role is to keep former students in touch with each other and the College.
The Segreants Trust (formerly the Downing College Boat House Centenary Trust) - a trust formed to raise, channel and allocate funding and donations for the Downing College Boat Club.
1.5 Student activities
The primary student organisations are the JCR (for undergraduate students) and the MCR (for graduate students). The Amalgamation Club (the combined JCR and MCR) has its Constitution online here. These organisations are independent entities run by students and are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
2 What we spend and how we spend it
The income of the College derives from College fees, charges to senior and junior members, the College’s investment portfolio, property holdings, donations, and Gift Aid receipts from its wholly-owned companies Downing College Developments Ltd and Downing College Conference Ltd.
The College Annual Report and Accounts since 2007 - 2008 are available online and include the College’s Financial Statements. This document is published annually in mid-December.
2.2 Budgetary and account information
This can be found in the College Annual Report and Accounts.
2.3 Financial audit reports
The College Audit Report is part of the College Annual Report and Accounts.
2.4 Capital programme
The College’s capital programme summary is part of the College Annual Report and Accounts.
2.5 Financial regulations and procedures
The College’s financial regulations are currently not online. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a copy. The College’s investment procedures may be found in the College Annual Report and Accounts.
2.6 Staff pay and grading structures
Multiple pay scales apply to members of the College. Staff are generally paid on the College’s own scale (which may be found in the College Accounts) while Fellows are paid on the University of Cambridge academic pay scale.
2.7 Register of suppliers
The College does not have a formal register of suppliers.
2.8 Procurement and tender procedures and reports
May be found in Section 4 of the Financial Regulations. Please e-mail email@example.com to obtain a free copy.
The Financial Regulations Section 4 deal with authority to enter contracts. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a free copy
2.10 Research funding
The majority of the College’s academic staff are supported through the University of Cambridge for research purposes. The College administers a limited number of research grants and also provides research fellowships.
The Fellowships Committee administer the Research Fellowships competition and report to the Governing Body. Please see section 4.1 for details of the Governing Body and how the College's committee structure works.
Named awards, prizes and scholarships provided by the College include the Glynn Jones Award, the John Butterfield Harvard Award, the Oon Kye Scholarship, the Lander Scholarship and the Treherne Studentship in Biological Science.
3 What our priorities are and how we are doing
3.1 Annual report
The Downing College Association Newsletter and Annual Record (for alumni) can be found on the College's website.
3.2 Corporate and business plans
Please refer to the Annual Report and Accounts.
3.3 Teaching and learning strategy
Educational support to students is provided in accordance with University of Cambridge procedures and guidelines, see the Educational Provision of the Cambridge Colleges. Course content is organised by the University of Cambridge Departments, brief details of the subjects that may be studied by Downing students may be found on the College website page studying at Downing.
Downing’s admissions and selection procedures are those of the University of Cambridge.
3.4 Academic quality and standards
The academic assessment of students at the College is conducted through Tripos and other University of Cambridge examinations; for undergraduates - see the Board of Exams website; and for graduate students see the Board of Graduate Studies of the University. College procedures can be found in the section for information for students.
The College Annual Report and Accounts contains data on student results and achievement, including admissions statistics and examination statistics.
The University of Cambridge academic quality guide can be reviewed here.
3.5 External review information
External reviews are generally conducted through the University of Cambridge. The most recent University of Cambridge quality assessment report may be viewed here.
3.6 Corporate relations
There is no direct corporate input into teaching and learning. The College runs the Downing Enterprise competition for current students and alumni with business ideas, which is judged as a board with links to the corporate sector. All entries must comply with the College's ethical investments policy, which may be found in the College's Annual Report and Accounts.
3.7 Government and regulatory reports
4 How we make decisions
4.1 The Governance of the College
Full details about the governance of the College and how the Governing Body operates are found in the Annual Report and Accounts in the section on College governance. This section also contains a diagram of the committee structure of the College. The governing body meets 7 times and year and considers a wide range of matters connected with the running of the College, some of which involve discussion of sensitive information. Information not deemed to be sensitive is contained in the Unreserved Minutes of the Governing Body.
These may be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com. Reports to the Governing Body, minutes of other committees and reserved minutes of the governing body are not available under this scheme but are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and may be released on request if the College is satisfied that no exemption under The Freedom of Information Act Part II sections 21 - 44 applies. Please see information about Making a Freedom of Information Request.
4.2 Consultation of Staff and Students
Students are represented on the major committees of the College including the Education Committee and Governing Body, and informal non-minuted meetings are held on a regular basis between College officers and JCR/MCR representatives.
The College’s Staff Information and Consultation Committee provides a forum for staff to offer feedback, make suggestions and give input on the running of the College as it pertains to them. Please see section 4.1 for details about access to minutes
The College has a procedure for dealing with suggestions and complaints from students.
4.3 Appointment committees and procedures
Please see the College Statutes for procedures relating to appointment of academic staff.
5 Our policies and procedures
5.1 Policies and procedures for conducting College business
5.2 Procedures and policies relating to academic services
5.3 Procedures and policies relating to human resources
The following policies and procedures may all be found in the College Staff Handbook:
- Statement of Intent
- Main terms and conditions of employment
- Smoking policy
- Public interest disclosure procedure
- Staff benefits
- Redundancy policy
- Performance and promotion policy
- Training policy.
5.4 Procedures and policies relating to recruitment
Please see the College Statutes for procedures relating to appointment of academic staff.
Recruitment procedures are described in the Staff Handbook.
5.5 Code of Conduct for members of governing bodies
The Code of Conduct can be found in the College Ordinances, No. XX.
5.6 Equality and diversity
The College is committed to equal opportunities in its recruitment of Fellows, students and staff. The College’s equal opportunities policy and other related policies can be found in the Staff Handbook.
The College does not condone any form of racial, sexual or other discriminatory harrassment and treats any such incident as a serious matter. Guidelines on reporting and responses to discrimination are available in the Staff Handbook.
5.7 Health & safety
5.8 Estate management
Details of the 10 year Capital Programme may be found in the Annual Report and Accounts.
Information about the architectural history of the College buildings and site may be found on the College website. The oldest buildings on site are listed as Grade 1. Their current value is listed under Fixed Assets in the Annual Report and Accounts. Please also see the note about Depreciation in the Accounting section of this document.
5.9 Complaints policy
The staff complaints policy may be found in the Staff Handbook.
The student complaints policy may be found in the information for students section of the website.
5.10 Records management and personal data policies
The College is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 2018. It's registration number and details may be found on the website of the Information Commissioner. It also has a Data Protection Policy. For information about how to access personal data held by the College please see the notes in Making a Freedom of Information request.
In actively managing its records, the College aims to comply with the Code of Practice on Records Management in Section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act and to comply with the Data Protection Principles. Records Management policy and the College retention schedule are constantly under review particularly as the College is revising arrangements for management of its electronic records. We host the College's current retention schedule as of April 2013 online. Please contact the Records Manager firstname.lastname@example.org for further details about Records Management at Downing.
5.11 Research policy and strategy
5.12 Charging regimes and policies
Please refer to the Annual Report and Accounts for details of College income. Specific information for students about the types of fees and charges they may incur is available in the information for students webpages.
Charges for conferences, functions and bed and breakfast may be found on the Conference website.
6 Lists and registers
6.1 Any information we are currently legally required to hold in publicly available registers
The College is a registered charity and its registration number is 1137455
The College is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. It's registration number and details may be found on the website of the Information Commissioner.
Some of the property that the College owns is listed with the Land Registry.
6.2 Asset registers
The College has fixed assets and endowment assets the value of which is stated in the Annual Report and Accounts.
6.3 Disclosure logs
The College publishes a disclosure log for Freedom of Information requests for the last three complete years plus the current year.
6.4 Register of gifts & hospitality provided to senior personnel
This section is under review.
6.5 Register of interests
This section is under review. Please see basic details on the Charity Commission website.
7 The services we offer
Information for prospective students can be found on the Join Downing section of the website.
7.2 Services for outside bodies
The College exists within the federated structure of the University of Cambridge. Please refer to the Annual Report and Accounts for up to date details of how this relationship functions
The College offers facilities for conferences, functions and bed and breakfast, which may be booked by outside organisations or individuals
7.3 Course content
Details of the subjects that may be studied by Downing students are available through the studying at Downing web page.
7.4 Welfare and counselling
7.5 Health including medical services
The College does not have a dedicated careers advisor but advice is provided to students on an ad hoc basis by Tutors and Directors of Studies. Students may also take advantage of the facilities of the University Careers Service.
7.7 Chaplaincy services
The College Chapel offers spiritual and pastoral support for all members if the College community regardless of their religious beliefs. Current Chapel Services and Events are also published.
7.8 Services for which the College is entitled to recover a fee, together with those fees
The College's main sources of income from services are academic fees and charges and income from residences, catering and conferences. See the Annual Report and Accounts.
Up to date information about catering services for students is available on the College website.
The information for students section on finance provides details about fees for students.
The College charges fees for Conference and bed and breakfast facilities which vary according to customer requirements. Details of both are available on the Downing Conferences website. It also derives income from charges for catering and residences to senior and junior members and alumni.
There is a £15 annual charge for use of the Lt Col Anderson Fitness Room, which is open to resident junior members, fellows and staff. See sports facilities for further details.
7.9 Museums, libraries, special collections and archives
There is no museum at Downing College but some artefacts relating to the College's history are held in the College Archive.
7.10 Conference facilities
The College's Conferences website contains information about arranging conferences and the facilities on offer.
Financial and operating information about the College's Conference Services department may be found in the Annual Report and Accounts.
7.11 Advice and guidance
Advice and guidance to current students is available on the College website information for students. This covers areas such as welfare, health, safety and security as well as information about the College's administration, teaching and accommodation. The Tutorial and Admissions Office advise and assist individual students who may also call on Tutors and Directors of Studies for help. The Porters' Lodge provides advice on security and practical matters, particularly out of office hours.
Advice and guidance to prospective students is available in the Join Downing section of the website, for undergraduates and for postgraduates. There is also information about the College's schools and colleges liaison work in this area of the site.
See the Staff Handbook for information about advice available to staff.
7.12 Local campaigns
The College is not involved in any activities of this type.
7.13 Media releases
Downing College news items are posted regularly on the website.
The College publishes a magazine for alumni called Dow@ Cam.
General media enquiries should be directed to the email@example.com.