Postponed end of charitable tax relief for independent schools: FOI release

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

Information requested

Documents between March-May 2020 to and/or from Scottish Government officials and/or ministers pertaining to the postponement of the end of charitable tax relief on business rates from September 1 2020 for independent schools in Scotland.


1. While the aim of the Scottish Government is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because 
exemptions under section 30(b) (i), of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained at the bottom of this letter.

1. An exemption under section 30(b) (i) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to ministers before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice would substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future.

1. An exemption under section s.38 (1) (b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to data that it is considered to be the personal data. This  exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Where the content of a document is considered personal data, this information has been redacted.

1. The Scottish Government does hold some documents that fall within the scope of your request. Where the content of a document pertains to information that is not considered within the scope of your request, this information has been redacted. For example, some of the correspondence included also contains information related to the delivery of COVID-19 support. 

2. I have enclosed PDF attachments of the documents that fall within the scope of your request. I have attached below a table of the documents that have been provided to you. The dates listed are those of the most recent correspondence in an email chain. Note that an initial forwarding email will feature at the top of any correspondence in order to overcome a quirk of the Scottish Government archive system.


24 March – 08:18


1 April 2020 – 16:43


7 April 2020 – 15:24


7 April 2020 – 16:57


12 April 2020 – 12:49


16 April 2020 – Letter to Scottish Council of Independent Schools


20 April 2020 – 21:07


21 April 2020 – 17:22


29 April 2020 – 11:08


30 April 2020 – 13:16


30 April 2020 – 13:32

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FOI-2020000048986 - Information released


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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