Internal communications referring to the reform of the SQA: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for all internal communications (emails, other electronic messages, records of meetings and phone calls etc) involving cabinet secretaries, the first minister, special advisers and/or learning directorate staff regarding or referring to the reform of the SQA and Education Scotland. NB This request includes any attachments where applicable.


Attached is a copy of some of the information requested. 

An exemption(s) under section(s) 29(1)(a), 30(b) and 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested. 

s29(1) a - relates to the formulation/development of Scottish Government policy and is therefore withheld and frank discussion.

s30(b) - relates to free and frank exchange of views and is therefore with held as above.

s.38 (1)b - relates to Third Party data and therefore is withheld as contains the personal data of a third party.

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 this information is within the scope of your request. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in: ensuring the full, free and frank consideration and/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 in ensuring that the provision of sensitive advice or views to support the effective deliberation on options and/or priorities and is not inhibitedÍž and in protecting personal data, such as personal contact details and the names of junior officials, which are not necessary to fulfil your legitimate interest.

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

FOI202100209350 - Information released 1
FOI202100209350 - Information released 2


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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