Pupils recorded as having autism spectrum disorder 2014-2017: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00010
Date received: 28 December 2017
Date responded: 11 January 2018

Information requested

Data on the number of pupils recorded as having an autism spectrum disorder broken down by local authority and age. I am not looking for a break down by sector, but primary, secondary, and special schools pupils should be included in the counts. I am looking for age ranges 2-18+, for years 2014-2017.


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

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section s.27(1) (information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below.

You asked for data on the number of pupils recorded as having an autism spectrum disorder. We do not collect data on pupils with an autism spectrum disorder rather data is collected on the number of pupils receiving additional support with their reason for support being recorded as an autism spectrum disorder. Please see the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 for further information on additional support needs where the following excerpt has been taken:

1(3) In this Act, "additional support" means: (a) in relation to a prescribed pre-school child, a child of school age or a young person receiving school education, provision (whether or not educational provision) which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children or, as the case may be, young persons of the same age in schools (other than special schools) under the management of the education authority responsible for the school education of the child or young person, or in the case where there is no such authority, the education authority for the area to which the child or young person belongs.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test:

An exemption under section s.27(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because we intend to publish that information by the 6th March 2018, which is within 12 weeks of the date of your request. We consider that it is reasonable to withhold the 2017 data until that date, rather than release some of this information before the planned publication date.

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 supplementary data to support the Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland, No. 8: 2017 Edition publication released in December 2017. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in taking the time necessary to ensure the information has been properly collated and quality checked before it is published as planned. In addition, we see no public interest in disrupting our programme of work to release the information ahead of the intended publication date.

About FOI

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

FOI-18-00010-Annex A-Data-Reason for additional support.xlsx


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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