FOI21/22 019 Appeals System 2021

Date published: 20/08/2021

FOI reference: 21/22 019

Date received: 02/06/2021

Date responded: 20/08/2021

Information requested

All communication between the SQA and Scottish Government regarding / referring to the appeals system for 2021 results, the details of which have now been published on the SQA website: Appeals Service

The time frame for this request is 1/3/2021 - 2/6/2021


The information you have requested is provided in the attached files.   The information provided has been redacted for personal data.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible SQA has withheld some information where exemption 30(b)(ii) – the free and frank exchange of views - applies.   Where this exemption has been applied is indicated on the emails included in the attached files.  The exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.   The exemption recognises the need for individuals to have a private space within which to seek advice and views from others before reaching a settled public position.   Disclosing the content would substantially inhibit the provision of advice and the exchange of views in the future.

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 being an open, transparent and accountable public body, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can provide free and frank advice and views to other officials.


Correspondence 1 (888 KB)

Correspondence 2 (385 KB)