Secondary school teacher recruitment and vacancies: FOI release

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

Information requested

Information on teacher recruitment and vacancies in Scottish secondary schools together with any unpublished minutes from the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group and information on future meeting dates.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in the format you asked for.

However, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. We do not hold information you requested on teacher recruitment and vacancies in Scottish secondary schools. However, this information may be available from COSLA or through their MyJobScotland website. Local authorities are responsible for the recruitment and employment of teachers.

We do have papers that have gone to the Scottish Education Council and the Strategic Board for Teacher Education that relate to teacher recruitment. These are attached without redactions.

We also have a briefing paper prepared for the Cabinet Secretary on teacher numbers and recruitment. However, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 29(1)(a) (policy formulation) and 30(c) (effective conduct of public affairs) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply is that this information either relates to policy development that is currently being discussed and as such decisions have not been made in these areas or it relates to information that is about particular partner organisations.

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. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of the current debate on teacher workforce issues. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that Ministers can consider a range of policy options to enable them to reach informed decisions. Disclosure of these options would disrupt this process and negatively affect policy development.

With regard to the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group, the Scottish Government website holds the minutes from the last meeting on 26 October 2022, and I have enclosed the paper that was discussed at that meeting. The Group are due to meet again on 21 November 2023.

The table below details the papers outlined above.





Teacher Workforce Planning Statistical Model – paper for TWPAG meeting on 26 October 2022

October 2022


Recruitment Challenges in Initial Teacher Education Programmes paper to SBTE meeting on 29 March 2023

March 2023


Challenges Related to Recruitment to Initial Teacher Education Programmes & Subsequent Teacher Retentionpaper for Scottish Education Council meeting on 27 April 2023

April 2023


Briefing paper for Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills meeting with officials on 15 August 2023

August 2023

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 202300375416 - Information Released - Documents 1 to 4


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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