Correspondence on transgender guidance in schools: FOI release

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

Information requested

Any correspondence (letters, emails, notes, minutes of meetings or otherwise) between the Scottish Government and senior civil servants, special advisers, or the First Minister on the topic of
transgender guidance in schools between January 2021 and the present day.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

An exemption under sections 30(b)(i), covering free and frank official advice, 30(b)(ii), covering free and frank exchange of views, 36(1) confidentiality in communications, and 38(1)(b), covering third party personal data, of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

Some of the information includes advice to the Scottish Ministers from Scottish Government officials and some of the information contains third party personal data that cannot be released. This means we have redacted identifiable information such as names and email addresses.

These exemptions are 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 exemptions. With regards to exemption under sections 30(b)(i) and (ii), we recognise that there is some public interest in release because it would ensure transparency by showing advice offered to the Scottish Ministers to support their decision-making and the views offered on that advice. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring Scottish Government officials are able to provide free and frank advice to the Scottish Ministers to ensure they are appraised of all possibilities when making policy decisions and that discussions on views are able to take place around that advice. With regards to the exemption under sections 36(1) and 38(1)(b), we recognise that there is some public interest in release to clarify who has been corresponding. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring the Scottish Government fulfils its requirements under the Data Protection Act.

About FOI

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

202200333588 - Enclosures - 23 March 2023


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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