St. Mary's Music School funding: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02731
Date received: 3 November 2017
Date responded: 4 December 2017

Information requested

Information regarding funding from the Scottish Government to the St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh. Additionally, you requested information regarding any additional past or future funding provided to the school by the Scottish Government and details of correspondence between Government Ministers.


I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested in the format you asked for in Annex A.

In relation to your third point, you asked us to "supply any/all communication between Government Ministers and St Mary's Music School" from 1990 onwards. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Specifically, it would be necessary to search through electronic and paper records of a number of parts of the Scottish Government covering a period of 27 years, which would be a very time-intensive exercise. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. This may include narrowing the date range of the correspondence you have requested. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on her website at:

Additionally, some of the information you have requested is available from either the Scottish Parliament website or and I have provided relevant links below. 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.

Annex A

The answers to your questions are:

I can confirm that the amount provided as part of the aided places scheme at St Mary's Music School in 2016/17 was £1,273,622.07.

In relation to your other points I can confirm that:

1. PQ S5W-03692 provided the information which the Scottish Government holds on the funding spent in support of St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh in each year since 1999 as part of the aided places scheme. It is available at:

The details of the criteria under which funding is allocated to St Mary's Music School is contained within the St Mary's Music School (Aided Places) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (

2. The Scottish Government does not hold any information relating to additional payments to St Mary's Music School other than what has been provided as part of the current and previous Aided Places schemes (

4. The mechanism currently governing how future funding will be allocated to St Mary's Music School is detailed within the St Mary's Music School (Aided Places) (Scotland) Regulations 2015.

5. The St Mary's Music School (Aided Places) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 specifically pertains to the funding arrangements for St Mary's Music School.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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