Information

Correspondence relating to the alternative certification model: FOI review

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


Information requested

Your request, reference 202100240609
All correspondence (written letters, emails, text, whatsapp messages, meeting notes) between MSPs and the Scottish Government relating to the alternative certification model.

Your review request, reference 202100252557
Please can you provide an update as this response is now late.

Response

In accordance with section 21(4) of FOISA, I have also reached a decision on your request.

I apologise sincerely for the delay in responding to your request. You will appreciate that there has been a much higher than usual volume of enquiries in this area, including a high number of FOI requests as well as non-FOI work relating to qualifications. This workload has been further compounded by staff movement and absence. These factors have unfortunately meant that some work, including your FOI, has been unavoidably delayed.

I can now provide our response to your original request.

Your request covers correspondence that has been answered in the form of written and oral Parliamentary Questions (PQs), First Minister’s Questions and Topical Questions, which are published, and correspondence directly to Ministers that is not published.

have supplied copies of unpublished correspondence in Annex A, subject to the redaction of personal data (names and contact details of individuals) under the exemption at section 38(1)(b) (personal data) of FOISA. 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.

You will be aware that parliamentary interactions (committees, votes and motions, written questions and answers, research, the Official Report, and minutes of Chamber meetings) are a matter of public record and are available on the website.

With regard to Parliamentary Questions, questions from MSPs to Scottish Government Ministers are in the pubic domain and can be found on the written questions and answers page of the Scottish Parliament website, or a general search on the website. I am therefore applying the exemption at section 25(1) (information otherwise accessible) of FOISA. 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.

We have identified 40 enquiries (1 at First Minister’s Questions, 3 oral, 1 topical and 35 written) about the Alternative Certification Model used in 2020-21, or related to assessment in 2020-21, in the current and previous parliamentary terms. For ease of reference we have tabled a list of links, and the question asked, in Annex B.

With specific regard to committees, you may wish to note that the Education, Children and Young People Committee replaced the Education and Skills Committee in June 2021. Proceedings, papers and reports relating to each of these committees can be found at the links above.

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.

FOI202100252557 - Annex A

FOI202100252557 - 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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