Saturday, 9 July 2016

Implementation of Named Person may be delayed

"CONTROVERSIAL plans to appoint a named person for every child in Scotland are facing a delay because a critical legal ruling has not yet been received."

"After months of resisting calls to rethink the policy, Deputy First Minister conceded that it would not be prudent or responsible to introduce the scheme while its legality is still in question."

"A ruling is expected in the Supreme Court after challenges by the Christian Institute and other groups, who appealed after their case was dismissed by the Court of Session."

"But with the judgement still to be determined, the Supreme Court will break up in two weeks` time for a summer recess for the month of August."

"It puts into jeopardy the expected introduction of the Scottish Government`s flagship scheme which was due to go live on August 31."

"Mr Swinney has now written to Holyrood`s Education Committee confirming that in the absence of a determination by the UK Supreme Court, he may have to delay the implementation."

"In a letter to MSPs on the committee, Mr Swinney said there were now only two weeks prior to its summer recess in which the Supreme Court could hand down its judgement..."

"Simon Calvert, spokesman for the No to Named Persons campaign, said: `Our lawyers contacted the Scottish Government earlier this week requesting an undertaking along these lines, so we are pleased they have done the right thing`."

"`The fact that the Scottish Government has been forced into a concession over this unpopular scheme is an acceptance of the reality that it could actually be struck down by the Supreme Court`..."

"Amid the prospect of a delay in the court ruling, Mr Swinney has told MPs he is advising parliament that the relevant parts four and five of the 2014 Children and Young People Act will not be implemented until a definitive judgement is received..."

"But Mr Calvert added: `Of course, as well as the legal problems, the scheme is plagued by practical problems`. "

"`More than a million kids are meant to be assigned a named person but there aren’t enough health visitors or teachers to implement the scheme. That may be partly behind this concession`."

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