Various questions regarding Glow: FOI release

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

Information requested

Email 1
Could I please get a definitive number for all of the active GLOW accounts that are currently known to GLOW at Education Scotland please. Where there are ‘group accounts’ (i.e a school office with multiple users) could I be provided with users per account.
Could I also get an average annual running cost of GLOW to the Scottish Government. Please include wages for all staff employed specifically for this service. 
I wonder if you also have a list of directors of education across local authorities or whom I would contact in every local authority to complete an FOI. If not I will look at this manually.

Email 2
I will also contact Scottish Government to ascertain expenditure on GLOW should this information not be within your gift to give.


Email 1 – Glow accounts
At 30 June 2020, there were currently 586,624 active Glow accounts across all Glow Customers and they are broken down in the table below. (Please note that Glow accounts can be added or removed by Glow Customers at any time).

Accounts by Role  Number
Teaching Staff 74,974
Non-teaching Staff 46,290
Students 465,060
Others (ie Guest) 300
Total 586,624

Education Scotland manages and provides Glow for Glow Customers, the organisations who sign up to use Glow. We are the Data Processor and the Glow Customers are the Data Controllers.
Therefore, Education Scotland can only provide information about the Glow accounts we have created for our staff, partners and guests as we are the Data Controller in respect of these accounts. You will have to make a separate FOI request to each of the Glow Customers who are Data Controllers for their Glow accounts. Currently there are 143 Glow Customers which include local authorities, independent schools, Initial Teacher Education universities, colleges offering Early Learning and Childcare qualifications and national organisations involved in education. 

Education Scotland has a total of 852 Glow accounts, including accounts for our staff, partners and guests - see table below. I can confirm that Education Scotland does not have any "group accounts" created i.e. accounts with multiple users. All Education Scotland Glow accounts are uniquely identifiable to an individual.

Account Type BPSS Basic Disclosure Standard Disclosure Enhanced Disclosure Police Scotland PVG Total
ES Staff 413 N/A 0 N/A N/A 4 417
Guest 0 6 0 0 0 0 6
Partner 0 37 3 7 246 136 429
  • All Education Scotland staff have gone through the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) which is a mandatory Scottish Government pre-employment check and includes the requirement to have a Basic Disclosure certificate. In addition, four staff are also members of the PVG scheme.
  • The six users who have Glow guest accounts from Education Scotland have provided Basic Disclosure certificates. Guest accounts do not have access to Office 365 or Google for Education services.
  • The 429 users who have a Glow partner account from Education Scotland have provided evidence of security clearance in the form of a Basic Disclosure certificate, Standard Disclosure certificate, Enhanced Disclosure certificate, Police Scotland security vetting or PVG scheme membership.

Email 1 – Glow annual costs
Glow is funded by Scottish Government as part of the Digital Learning and Teaching programme.
The money spent on contracted services for Glow is published in the Education Scotland annual accounts in the section "Notes to the financial statements" which you will find here:

The annual accounts for 2019-20 will be published in the next 12 weeks and it will include the cost of contracted services for Glow. In addition the total cost for staff working on Glow in 2019-20 is just over £2m and includes permanent staff, secondees, contractors and agency staff.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information requested because an exemption under section 27(1), information intended for future publication of FOISA applies. The reason why this exemption applies is explained in Annex A.

Email 1 – Directors of Education
The following link will take you to the COSLA website where you will be able to see a list of all 32 Scottish local authorities:

Email 2
We have provided the information re costings that Education Scotland holds and hope this fulfils your requirement.

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-202000057699 - Annex A


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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