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Access to Information - Residential Establishments

DescriptionDetails of access to information for young people in residential establishments in Scotland.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateAugust 10, 2005


Old files held by the Executive which hold information on residential establishments are being made available to members of the public, on request, to view.

If you lived in a List D school or children's home and would like to see the files we hold please read on.

What kinds of files are available to view?

Whilst we do not hold any personal files we do have files that relate to the management, running and inspection of some establishments. We do not have files on all children's homes and schools. For some institutions, we have quite a lot of information; for others less. This depends on what information was collected by the Scottish Office at the time and what was retained.

Access is being provided to these files in two ways:

Open files: these do not contain names or sensitive information and are open to anyone who wishes to see them.

Redacted files: these are files where names and other sensitive information has been blocked out so that files can be made public without damaging individuals' privacy.

When a file is redacted each piece of information which is blocked out is given a code. If you contact us we can tell by looking at the master key for the codes if your name has been blocked out on any of the files we hold. If it has we will show you where your name appears. You can either be sent the information about you or come and see the actual files.

Anyone can access the redacted files. However only those individuals named on the files will have access to the relevant code that will enable them to identify themselves within these.

Where do I go to find out more?

Open files

The National Archives of Scotland houses some information relating to residential establishments in Scotland. The NAS webpage provides a fully searchable database on files held within its electronic catalogue.

If you come across any references to files you would be interested to see when searching through this database you should contact The National Archives of Scotland, West Search Room, West Register House, 17a Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DF. Tel: 0131 535 1413 or e-mail. wrs@nas.gov.uk to arrange to go and view the files. Information created by the Scottish Executive/Scottish Office or other public bodies and deposited with the NAS is open to anyone to view, unless subject to an exemption under Freedom of Information legislation.

Redacted files

All redacted files are currently being held within the Looked After Children & Youthwork Division within the Scottish Executive Education Department at Victoria Quay. If you want to know if we hold any personal information concerning you on these redacted files please send your request in writing to Scott McDonald, SEED, LACY Division, Area 2-B, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ providing details of your name, address, the establishment(s) you resided in and the time period that this spanned. We will then check our records. We will aim to respond to all requests within 20 working days.

In addition we are happy to make arrangements for you to visit Victoria Quay to view any other files which may be of interest to you. During such visits a member of Executive staff will sit with you whilst you look through the files (all of which are in paper form). Should you wish to bring someone along with you for company/support you are welcome to do so.

What do I do if I want to obtain non-redacted versions of documents?

Access to non-redacted files, and thus personal information relating to a third party, will be made available by the Executive only where an order from the Court has been obtained.