Information

Child protection and safeguarding: FOI release

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


Information requested

1) How referrals to GTCS had not been appropriately dealt with before the Children's Commissioner challenged this aspect (inappropriateness of policy, not practice) and Scot Gov CP team intervened.

1b) What specifically was not appropriate in the way GTCS handled child protection and safeguarding concerns raised in relation to teachers?

2) How many child protection and safeguarding referrals to GTCS over the past five years are felt to have been dealt with 'inappropriately' apropos the recent work with SG Child Protection Team and GTCS.

3) What actions do Scottish Government wish GTCS to take to ensure that mishandled safeguarding and child protection referrals are reviewed in order to ensure that these referrals are processed in line with the Scottish Government Child Protection Team requirements?

4) How will GTCS communicate the historic issues and changes with individuals who historically made child protection and safeguarding referrals or enquiries in good faith and they were not appropriately dealt with? Does Scottish Government and Scottish Government Child Protection team have a view on this.

5) What redress does GTCS plan to make to those individuals who made child protection and safeguarding referrals or enquiries in good faith. Does Scottish Government and Scottish Government Child Protection team have a view on this.

6) How will GTCS communicate the historic issues and changes with those at the locus of child protection and safeguarding referrals or enquiries that had been made in good faith but were dealt with 'inappropriately'. Does Scottish Government and Scottish Government Child Protection team have a view on this.

7) What redress GTCS plans to make to those at the locus of child protection and safeguarding referrals or enquiries that had been made in good faith but were dealt with 'inappropriately'. Does Scottish Government and Scottish Government Child Protection team have a view on this.

8)Please also share all correspondence between GTCS and Scottish Government on this matter, as reported in the Children's Commissioner's Annual Report, including emails, letters, notes, messenger/social media or other electronic communications, agendas/notes/minutes of meetings and draft and revised documentation.

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you requested. We are unable to provide responses to questions 1-7 as, per section 17 of FOISA, as we do not hold this information due it not being shared with us by the General Teaching Council of Scotland or due to Scottish Government not currently holding a view on these questions.

In response to question 8, I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in PDF format. Some of the information you have requested is available from organisations’ websites and this is detailed in the document. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some the information you have requested in question 8 because exemptions under sections 38(1)(b) (personal information), 30(b) (free and frank exchange of views), and 36 (2) (breach of confidence) of FOISA apply.

Section 30(b)(ii) applies because the information held covers discussion with other organisations where policy is being debated and shaped before being agreed, and disclosure would cause substantial harm to our ability to have free and frank exchanges with key partners for the purposes of deliberation. Section 36 (2) (breach of confidence) of FOISA apply as the information provided by GTCS was shared in confidence.

These exemptions are 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.

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.

FOI 202200327461 - Information released

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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