"Now that the information sharing aspects of the Named Person scheme has been found to infringe children’s and parent’s rights, the Scottish Government has asked these groups which supported the initial draft of the scheme to suggest how to rectify the problem. In his appearance before the Education and Skills Committee recently, education secretary John Swinney said that the Named Person scheme would still be rolled out and that the pilot scheme run by Highland Council was, in his view, responsible for a 68 per cent decline in referrals to the Children’s Panel between 2007 and 2013."
"The problem is that a closer look at the data shows that the results in Highland Council area are far from exceptional. Over the last ten years there has been a decline in referrals across the whole of Scotland by 72.6 per cent. Highland ranks only 11th out of 32 local authorities in its track record on reducing referrals. Other councils which piloted the Named Person scheme, such as Angus and South Ayrshire, performed much worse, with Angus sitting at 20th and South Ayrshire at 30th in the ranking. Councils which did not pilot the scheme, such as Aberdeen and Glasgow, performed better than Highland with drops in referral rates of over 80 per cent. It appears, therefore, that the decline in referrals to the Children’s Panel is due to other factors, such as the fact that the police no longer routinely refer all domestic abuse cases. Moreover, the claimed benefits of the Named Person scheme in improving outcomes for children remain unproven. This suggests that a more robust evidential basis should have been established before the Scottish Government legislated for the scheme; that too cosy a relationship exists between the advocates of the scheme and Scottish Government officials; and that more attention should have been paid to dissenting voices."
Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/cosy-relationships-can-make-for-bad-legislation-1-4263721
A summary of the Children and Young People Bill Scotland by Phil Raines - Head of Child Protection Policy [ March 2013]