Named person faces further 12 month delay


The Scottish Parliament's education committee has blocked plans for a guardian to be assigned to every child in Scotland 

7th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Politicians have blocked the Scottish Government’s controversial named person legislation for at least a year. 

Holyrood’s education committee refused to give its seal of approval yesterday (Wednesday 6 December) to revised plans for a guardian to be appointed for every child in Scotland.

The move not to prepare a first stage report by the committee means that the bill cannot go the Scottish Parliament for approval, resulting in yet another lengthy delay for the legislation.

The proposals have drawn opposition due to concerns about information sharing and have been beset by a flurry of delays in their implementation – including a Supreme Court ruling against the scheme last summer.

In response, the children and young people (information sharing) Scotland bill was published in June. The Scottish Government said it fixed flaws identified in the previous law, but it has still drawn criticism from politicians and campaigners for not addressing issues raised by the court.

Last month, the committee said it was not able to move the bill for recommendation until a full code of practice for those affected by the plans – such as teachers and social workers – was prepared.

That has not happened, so the committee has been unable to produce its report. This means the policy is now likely not to become operational for at least a year, and opposition parties have called for the proposals to be completely redrawn.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the committee’s decision to unnecessarily seek to delay progress of this important bill.

“As [Mr Swinney] has already clearly set out, the new code of practice will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval, while an independent panel will ensure the code and other support material is workable.”