Childsmile funding: FOI release

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

Information requested

  1. The current annual cost of the Childsmile programme in Scotland.
  2. How many children participate in the oral health improvement programme.


While our aim is to provide as much information as requested, in this instance we do not have all the information which you have requested. We have supplied information we have to question 1 in your list, please see below.

The information you have requested in question 2 is in part already available to the public. See link to question 2 below.

  1. An exemption under section s.29(1)(a) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because some funding for Childsmile Core, and for Childsmile Nursery & School, is provided through a bundle of funding to NHS Boards known as the Outcomes Framework.

    This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.

    Therefore, while we have a breakdown of the Childsmile funding which makes up part of this bundle, this was provided for the purposes of policy formulation only and may not reflect how NHS Boards have continued to apply funding in their local area. We can therefore only provide you with the total value of the Outcomes Framework, which for the current financial year 22/23 was £74.1m.

    In addition, specific in-year allocations for programme management costs and other Childsmile costs are also made. For 22/23, these additional allocations are expected to total £2.8m.

    Finally, Childsmile Practice is funded separately through payments made directly to NHS dentists from National Services Scotland (NSS) on Government’s behalf. Scottish Government do not collate an annual breakdown of this spend, so are unable to provide this for you, as per Section 17 of FOISA (information not held). Information on how to make a request from NSS can be found at:

    Public Health Scotland do provide statistics on number of fees by treatment type claimed by NHS dentists, including Childsmile in Practice at items 41 and 42. The latest information is available at the following link: fees-and-treatments-statistics-as-at-quarter-ending-june-2022/
  2. With reference to Section 25 of FOISA, the data you require can be found in the relevant tables at These evaluations are carried out independently by the University of Glasgow’s Community Oral Health Section, and Scottish Government do not hold any further data on this. Evaluations were paused during COVID.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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