Education Scotland survey relating to a National Digital Academy: FOI release

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

Information requested

In February, Education Scotland published an article saying it was exploring what a National Digital Academy might look like. It was asking S3 to S6 young people to provide feedback via a survey. That survey was due to close at the end of February.

I would like any information held by Education Scotland:

  • the number of young people that responded to that survey.
  • summarising the survey responses received from young people.

I would also like to request any other information held by Education Scotland on the topic of a National Digital Academy (please restrict this part of my request to 2024) – for example papers/reports/research/emails.


Part one

There were 2,229 people who responded to the survey and 2,215 learners completed the main survey with a further 14 responses to an i-Sgoil specific questionnaire.

An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the formulation of the Scottish Government’s policy on a National Digital Academy, its scope, purpose and delivery.

This exemption is 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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the scope and purpose of a National Digital Academy will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Scottish Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.

Part two

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600 due to the high volume of emails and documents identified for the period you requested. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. This could be achieved by narrowing the scope of your request by date, subject, or by choosing a particular category e.g. documents but not emails.

You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at:

About FOI

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


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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