Freedom of Information requests

A symptom of the worry and confusion surrounding the Alternative Certification Model has been a sudden rise this week in the number of parents and learners making Freedom of Information Requests to schools and local authorities in relation to assessment instruments and procedures.

No teacher should be expected to gather any evidence in relation to FOI requests during their annual leave.
  On receipt of such a request the local authority should respond on behalf of the school with an acknowledgement and a timescale for a response. Live SQA materials and licensed materials must not be shared by schools, even if the request is made by FOI. 

For members’ information, there are restrictions on what can be shared (eg not scripts/answers but only marks and markers’ comments).  The time scale for responding to an FOI request after results have been announced is one month, if it is before then the response must be made within five months of the date of the request or within 40 days from when the results are published (whichever is earlier).  There should be no requirement to share information which has already been shared.

Learners with concerns should be directed to the SQA Appeals procedure.  If a learner submits an appeal then SQA may contact the school after 10 August to request evidence. Under no circumstances should evidence be released directly to parents.

More detail is available here: Exam results | ICO .

Published on 25 June 2021 - Information for Members