1). Information to outline why the Scottish Government objected to the distribution of a book to all Primary school-aged children to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
2). Information to indicate who in the Scottish Government was involved in making the decision that Scottish schools would have to 'opt-in' to receive the book.
3). Confirmation on whether Scottish ministers had sight of the complete text of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebratory book for children when they made their decision to request that schools in Scotland ‘opt-in’ before they would be able to receive their copies of the book.
4). Information on any contact/correspondence that was made with Education bodies within Scotland on this matter.
5). Information on any contact/correspondence that was made with any School/Head Teaching bodies within Scotland on this matter.
6). Information on any contact/correspondence that was made with any Parent representative bodies within Scotland on this matter.
7). Confirmation on whether Scottish ministers were aware that, due to their request that schools in Scotland be required to ‘opt-in’ and the further layer of administration this requires, the delivery time would be affected by their decision.
8). Confirmation on who ‘signed off’ on this decision.
9). Information on whether this matter was or has been discussed in the Scottish Parliament.
10). Information on whether the Scottish Government made any provision for parents/pupils who would like to receive a copy but whose school has not ‘opted-in’?
1). The Scottish education system is set up in such a way that decision making is devolved to the most appropriate level, enabling local education authorities to make choices that meet their local circumstances and needs. It is for this reason that the Scottish Government does not prescribe the specific resources to be used in schools. Head teachers are empowered to make these decisions for themselves in liaison with their local authority, hence why the decision on how to distribute this book in Scotland was devolved to them.
2). & 8). The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville, has been clear with UK Ministers that Scottish schools should be given the choice on whether their pupils should receive this book and therefore advised UK Ministers that an ‘opt-in’ process for Scottish schools should be implemented.
3). Scottish Ministers advised the Department of Education on 10 February 2022 that an opt-in process should be carried out in Scotland. The final draft of the text of the book was provided to Scottish Ministers on 14 February 2022.
4). Scottish Government officials advised the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland on 21 March 2022 to make them aware of Scottish Ministers decision that Scottish schools should be given the choice on whether their pupils should receive this book.
Scottish Government officials also advised Education Scotland of the UK Government’s plans for the book, and sought high level factual comments on the historical aspects of the book.
5). As above.
6). No contact was made with any parent representative bodies.
7). Scottish Ministers were advised by Department for Education on 21 March 2022 that any opt-in process for Scottish schools would result in the distribution of books being carried out in September.
9). An Official Report is kept of all business carried out in the Scottish Parliament. The Official Report is a written record of what is said in public meetings of the Scottish Parliament and its committees. The information you have requested is therefore accessible from the following link: What was said in Parliament | Scottish Parliament Website
10). The book will be available to purchase from 23 June and a digital version of the book will be available, from September, free of charge to UK readers.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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