- 22 Jan 2019
Date received: 14 December 2018
Date responded: 17 January 2019
Some of the information you have requested is available from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s website at https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s3277/HomeEducation-Appendix%203.pdfpdf.
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.
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 sections 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) and 38(1)(b) (personal information of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions on Dumfries and Galloway Council’s home education policy will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, particularly because the Council is still developing its policy.
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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to consult and hear from stakeholders before the Government can adopt a policy that is sound and likely to be effective. This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good policy decisions can be taken.
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 Andrew's House