Information

Communication relating to education recovery plan: FOI release

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


Information requested

  • Any internal Scottish Government communications on the subject of the Education Recovery plan which was published on 05 October 2021 (link). I would like this information between 01 September 2021 and 01 October 2021.

Response

Attached is a copy of some of the information requested.

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 certain exemptions under FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in Annex A.

The schedule of documents is provided at Annex B.


ANNEX A
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION


An exemption applies
An exemption under section(s) 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to personal data of third parties, and means that the personal details of junior officials, and direct contact details of senior officials, have been redacted.

This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under section(s) 29(1)(a) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to information used in the formulation or development of government policy.

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 it is relating to the strategy for COVID recovery in education.

However, this is outweighed by the public interest in the Scottish Government being able to have a safe, shared space to develop, discuss and debate early policy ideas, some of which might not ultimately become final policy.  Any final policy decisions are communicated via Ministerial announcements and/or to the Scottish Parliament.

Exemptions under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA apply to some of the information you have requested.  Information is exempt under section 30(b)(ii) if disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially, the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.  This means that disclosing this information would likely inhibit the sharing of information amongst officials within the Scottish Government.

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 it is relating to the strategy for COVID recovery in education.


However, this is outweighed by the public interest in the Scottish Government being able to freely provide frank views as it discusses and develops approaches.  Disclosing information in this manner would mean that colleagues are less likely to freely provide such information in future, hampering the Scottish Government’s capability to operate in a robust, coherent manner.

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.

FOI202100245473 - Annex B

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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