- All correspondence (including emails and text messages) between the Scottish Government and the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) on the issue of child protection or safeguarding concerns in Scotland, between 01/01/2020 and the date of this request.
- All correspondence (including emails and text messages) between the Scottish Government and the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland on the issue child protection or safeguarding concerns in Scotland, between 01/01/2020 and the date of this request.
- What investigative action, if any, the Scottish Government is currently taking which involves the General Teaching Council Scotland on the issue of child protection or safeguarding concerns in Scotland.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in PDF format. With regard to your final request we are continuing dialogue with the General Teaching Council for Scotland on their role in child protection. This is within the context of local authorities being responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm, including harm caused by its employees to pupils. The GTCS is an independent body and is a regulator of individual professionals, not the education system as a whole.
Some of the information you have requested is available from organisations’ websites and this is detailed in the document. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some the information you have requested because exemptions under section(s) s.38(1)(b) (personal information) and s.30(b)(ii)(free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA apply to that information. Section 30(b)(ii) applies because the information held covers discussion with other organisations where policy is being debated and shaped before being agreed, and disclosure would cause substantial harm to our ability to have free and frank exchanges with key partners for the purposes of deliberation.
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 this is a matter of interest to the public. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that we continue to be able to discuss and debate with organisations as we develop policy in this important area.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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