Information

Communication with Scottish Qualification Authority: FOI release

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


Information requested

Internal Scottish Government correspondence (including between ministers and civil servants) from 17 May to 27 June 2021 regarding the Scottish Qualifications Authority, broken down by 6 separate timeframes (Micase refs: 239784, 239798, 239823, 239840, 239842 & 239863). Clarification was provided on 27 September 2021, that the request related to the 'future of the SQA in relation to the announcement made by the Education Secretary on 21 June 2021'.

Response

Attached is a copy of some of the information requested. An exemption under s25 (1) applies as information is otherwise accessible. Some of the information you have requested is available from Internal communications referring to the reform of the SQA: FOI release - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) and Potential reforms to SQA and Education Scotland: FOI release - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). Other information relating to Ministerial statements on SQA reform is also available and can be accessed via the Scottish Parliament Official Reports of 3 June and 22 June 2021.

Further exemption(s) under section(s) 2(1)(a), 29(1)(b), 30(b)(i), 30(b)(ii), 36(1) and 38 (1) s.29 (1)(a) - relates to the formulation/development of Scottish Government policy and is therefore withheld.
s.29 (1)(b) - relates to Ministerial communications and is therefore withheld.
s.30 (b)(i) - relates to free and frank exchange of advice and is therefore withheld.
s.30 (b)(ii) - relates to free and frank exchange of views and is therefore withheld.
s.36 (1) - relates to confidentiality in legal proceedings and is therefore withheld.
s. 38(1)(b) - relates to personal data relating to a third party and is therefore withheld.

The 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 is some public interest in release because this information is within the scope of the request. However, it 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 option 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 interests.

About FOI
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.

FOI202100239842 - Information released 1

FOI202100239842 - Information released 2

FOI202100239842 - Information released 3

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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