Section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 - draft guidance for users of the section 70 complaints process

Closed 20 Nov 2017

Opened 28 Aug 2017

Feedback updated 18 Dec 2017

We asked

We asked for your views on Section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 - a guidance document for users of the section 70 process.

You said

We received 14 responses which provided detailed feedback on the guidance document.

We did

We have fully considered all of the responses.  The responses have been published along with the analysis report.  The final guidance will be published shortly.

Results updated 18 Dec 2017


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Under section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, any interested party can make a reference to Scottish Ministers where that party believes that a responsible body (an education authority, managers of an independent or grant-aided school or any other educational establishment, or other persons) has failed to carry out a statutory duty in relation to education.

The guidance on section 70 complaints to Scottish Ministers is intended to provide support to all those involved in the section 70 process, including those who are considering or who have made a section 70 complaint.

This guidance document explains the changes made by section 24 of the Education (Scotland) Act 2016 and the Section 70 (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 to the section 70 process.  

It is intended that these amendments to the Act will commence in January 2018.

The guidance is intended to set out in detail what can be considered within a section 70 complaint, what cannot be considered and in those circumstances how a complaint relating to certain matters may be made. The guidance is also intended to provide information on the way in which complaints are considered and provide advice and guidance on how to make a complaint.

Why we are consulting

The aim of the guidance is that it is clear, and provides consistent, concise and helpful advice and information about the complaints process. This consultation on the draft guidance seeks your views on whether this aim has been achieved.

Download the consultation paper.

What happens next

Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. We will consider the content of all responses received as we move forward with finalising the guidance prior to its publication.


  • Education