Communications regarding lead teachers: FOI release

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

Information requested

Copies of all communication involving the Scottish Government (ministers, advisers, learning directorate staff) regarding lead teachers (NB this includes attachments such as briefings, reports


The role of Lead Teacher was established following recommendation 2 in the final report of the Independent Panel on Career Pathways for Teachers:

Recommendation 2- A career pathway should be established for specialist roles in curricular, pedagogical and policy delivery through the creation of a new post of Lead Teacher.

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) implemented the role of Lead Teacher under the SNCT structure in August 2021. Recruitment of Lead Teachers is a matter for individual local authorities.

I can confirm that the Scottish Government holds information falling within the scope of your request. I attach a copy of most of the information you requested.

An exemption under section38(1)(b) (personal information), section 30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advice) and section 25 (Information otherwise accessible) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views.

An exemption under Section 25 of (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure where the requester can reasonably obtain the information without asking for it under FOISA. The exemption at section 25 is an absolute exemption.

The exemptions at sections 38(1)(b) (personal information), and 30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advice) are qualified exemptions, which means they are subject to the public interest test. We have considered carefully whether the public interest lies in maintaining the exemptions or releasing the information.

There is a general public interest in transparency, and ensuring that the public understand the reasons for which policy decisions are made. In this specific case, release of the information could provide a greater public understanding of the way in which decisions regarding the Lead Teacher scheme were reached via discussions in the SNCT. However, there is also a public interest in ensuring that officials and members of the SNCT are able to engage in free and frank discussions that inform high quality policy development. Release of the exempt information would be likely to inhibit such free and frank discussions and result in less informed decision-making regarding this and other related key policy initiatives. On balance, we consider that the public interest test falls in favour of maintaining the exemptions.

About FOI

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

FOI - 202200269303 - Information Released - Annex


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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