Provision of laptops or tablets for school children: FOI release

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

Information requested

Any internal Scottish Government communications (including letters, emails, texts or WhatsApp messages) on the subject of the introduction of the provision of laptops or tablets for school children. I would like this information from 20 January 2021 to 20 March 2021.


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 exemptions apply under Section 38(1)(b) (personal information) and Section 29(1)(a) (policy formulation) of FOISA to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply is explained below.

Attached are five copies of emails which are in scope.

An exemption under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies as it relates to the personal data of a third party.

An exemption under Section 29(1)(a) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested as it relates to the formulation or development of government policy.

The Commissioner has interpreted “formulation or development of policy” as the consideration or development of options and priorities for Scottish Ministers, who will subsequently determine which of these should be translated into political action and/or legislation and when that will happen.

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 your request relates to early formulation of government policy. However, we consider that releasing this information may restrict the decisions of an incoming administration.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI202100187590 - 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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