Briefing document re class contact time reduction: FOI response

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

Information requested

For information in relation to a briefing document contained in a previous request (Our ref: 202200275182). With regard to that information, you requested:

  • I would like to request that all information in this briefing document be released to me, along with any other associated materials such as appendices etc
  •  I would also like to request information related to the meeting mentioned at the end of the materials already provided to me (see point 16 in the document below). This includes:
  1. Confirmation of attendees at the meeting
  2. Any minutes from the meeting (if these do not exist please confirm)
  3.  Any personal notes (including hand-written notes) made during the meeting by attendees (if these do not exist please confirm)


With regard to the first bullet of your request, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under section 14(2) of FOISA a public authority is not required to comply with a request for information if it is identical or substantially similar to a request which it has already complied with, unless a reasonable amount of time has elapsed between the two requests.

This request is substantially similar to your previous request 202200275182 which we responded to on 30 March 2022. I am aware that you requested a review of the application of exemptions in that response (Our ref 202200296229) which the Scottish Government responded to on 16 June 2022. The Scottish Information Commissioner’s guidance on repeated requests at: Briefings and guidance | Scottish Information Commissioner ( says that in considering whether a reasonable period of time has elapsed between the previous request and the new request, there are two questions which will help the authority:

(i) has the information changed?
(ii) have the circumstances changed?

In this case, the information we hold is the same as at the time of your previous request. We have also considered the circumstances and have concluded that there has been no significant change. For these reasons, we consider that your request is repeated and we are not obliged to comply with it.

With regard to the second bullet of your request, I can confirm that a half hour meeting took place on the afternoon of 25 January 2022. There were six attendees; the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, David Livey (Special Adviser), Andrew Drought (Deputy Director (Workforce and Infrastructure), Directorate for Learning) and three junior Scottish Government officials. As noted in the response to your previous request (Our ref: 202200275182), the purpose of the meeting was to update the Cabinet Secretary on the noted associated briefing document. No decisions were taken at the meeting and no notes were taken.

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. the names of the three junior Scottish Government officials present in the meeting, 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. 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.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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