Closure of the New School, Butterstone: FOI release

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

Information requested

Attached is a redacted memo [dated 2 November 2018] which now needs to be unredacted. I am making a formal request that this information which is in the public interest (as deemed necessary by the Scottish Government) should now be released.


I enclose a copy of the document that you requested.

An exemption under sections 30(b)(i) and 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to the information you have requested. Section 30(b)(i) relates to the free and frank provision of advice and it has been applied in this case as the document contains advice to Scottish Ministers drawn from information provided by third parties.

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. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because it pertains to the closure of an independent school. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in the ability of Scottish Ministers to fulfil their duties in relation to the regulation of independent schools. It is in the public interest for Ministers to receive relevant information in relation to these duties, and we have considered that releasing the document in full would have a chilling effect on parties who would otherwise provide timeous information to Scottish Ministers. As you know the Scottish Ministers recognised the public interest in understanding the closure of The New School Butterstone and commissioned the independent review, this was published in full at Closure of the New School Butterstone: independent review report - (

Section 38(1)(b) relates to personal information of a third party and is not subject to the public interest test.

About FOI

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

FOI - 202300366583 - Information release


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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