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Named person scheme not workable, expert group advises

19 August 2019

The Scottish Government's named person scheme is probably not workable, an independent advisory group has concluded.

The panel was appointed by Education Secretary John Swinney to develop a code of practice on information sharing, following a call by the Scottish Parliament's Education Committee in the wake of a ruling by the UK Supreme Court that parts of the scheme contravened the European Convention on Human Rights.

It has now been reported that in March this year, the panel found that "a statutory code of practice that must be applied in all situations is not the right thing to do at this time".

It wanted to make clear that although a code of practice could be produced, its complexity would mean it would not be easy to understand or apply in practice.

Under the named person policy every child would have a person, such as a teacher or health visitor, to look out for their welfare of children up to the age of 18.

The Supreme Court held that aspects of the information-sharing elements of the scheme were contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said that ministers were currently considering the panel's advice and recommendations, and "We remain committed to promoting good information-sharing practice in the best interests of Scotland's children and families."

 

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