Correspondence from headteachers or teachers on excessive workload: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02446  
Date received: 12 September 2018 
Date responded: 9 October 2018
Information requested
Details of any correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, documents or otherwise) from headteachers or teachers to John Swinney on the topic of excessive workload in 2018.
I enclose a set of letters from either teachers or headteachers to John Swinney on the topic of excessive workload in 2018, two news releases from teaching unions sent to Ministers in the same time period and one Parliamentary Question (and response) in relation to the topic of teacher workload.

In addition to the above, we identified the attached FOI response to a previous FOI request relating to standardised assessments. The FOI response includes “Teacher Feedback emails” on the assessments, which includes teacher views on the impact of the assessments on classroom management. Certain comments within this previous FOI release cover the issue of teacher workload. The information is available at the following hyperlink:
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide certain items of information within the various emails and letters from teachers and headteachers. The only items of information that have been redacted are names, addresses and email addresses of the correspondents. We have redacted this information because we concluded that an exemption under the FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why the relevant exemptions apply are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
Section 38(1)(b) – applicant has asked for personal data of a third party.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to the various emails and letters which fall under the scope of your FOI request because certain items of information are personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

In practice, this means that personal names of teachers or headteachers and their addresses or email addresses have been redacted from the various emails or letters.
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-18-02446 Information part 1
foi-18-02446 Information part 2
foi-18-02446 nasuwt part 1
foi-18-02446 nasuwt part 2


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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