Publication - FOI/EIR release

National qualifications results day meeting - briefings, minutes, correspondence: FOI release

Published: 22 Nov 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
22 Nov 2019
National qualifications results day meeting - briefings, minutes, correspondence: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900004090
Date received: 29 Oct 2019
Date responded: 9 Nov 2019
Information requested

In your request you asked for:-

Please release the following material in relation to the meeting on 1 /8/19 referred to in the attached screenshot (which has come from a Scottish Government FOi response).

  • Briefings provided to staff in advance of the meeting
  • Minutes (if no minutes have been taken please make this clear)
  • All notes (including hand-written notes) made during the meeting
  • Communications between participants regarding the meeting (either before or after the meeting took place)
Response

With regard to your request, you may wish to note that the referenced 'NQ 2019 Results Day Meeting' was organised and hosted by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The meeting was attended by a number of SQA, Education Scotland and Scottish Government staff. The purpose of the meeting was explanatory; to ensure that officials could prepare briefing enabling Ministers to comment on an informed basis.

You will be aware that the SQA is an executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and operates at arm's length to Ministers, as set out under the Education (Scotland) Act 1996. It follows that the Scottish Government does not hold communications exclusive to SQA staff that may have taken place before or after the meeting, or any briefing material that may have been provided only to SQA staff in advance of the meeting.

With regard to bullet one, briefing provided to Education Scotland and Scottish Government staff in advance of the meeting included the three attachments referenced in enclosure 13 of FOI reference 201900003157, and with regard to the subsequent review. Links to published material are included in the enclosures below.

With regard to bullet two, it is the Scottish Government's understanding that minutes were not taken.

With regard to bullet three, three participating officials retained notes from the meeting. You may wish to note that the handwritten notes provided in enclosures 5 to 7 reflect key points and potential questions or issues that attendees felt may be required to inform the development of the second version of the submission that was provided to Ministers on 5 August 2019 (enclosure 4 of FOi reference 201900003157). These notes do not reflect officials' opinions, or the Scottish Government's position of the exam results.

With regard to bullet four, there are no communications between participants regarding the meeting. You may; however, wish to note that subsequent to the meeting, and predicated on the overview of statistics and discussion at the meeting, lines were developed to inform the subsequent evening meeting with the Deputy First Minister (the subject of your further enquiry, ref 201900004091 ). Education Scotland and Scottish Government officials were also invited to consider and contribute to the second version of the submission.

Redactions have been made under Section 25(1) and Section 38(1)(b).

Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) exempts information from disclosure where the requester can reasonably obtain the information without making a request for it.

An exemption under section 38( 1 )(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the names/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG