Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Public opinion is growing against the Named Person scheme

"MINISTERS are under pressure to rethink controversial plans to appoint a state-appointed guardian to look after the welfare of every child in Scotland after dozens of groups raised concerns."

"Many of the bodies and charities involved in the Scottish Government's Named Person scheme are unsure of their roles little more than a year before it is due to roll out across the country."

"The proposals, contained in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, aim to give everyone under 18 a Named Person, usually a teacher or health visitor, to oversee them from August next year. He or she would be a contact point if welfare issues needed to be raised with police or social services."

"However, there are major concerns among bodies including health boards, councils and the third sector. Their fears emerged in a consultation on draft guidance which is contained in an analysis by the government."

"Simon Calvert, spokesman for NO2NP said it indicated a growing strength of public opinion against the proposals and the analysis had all-but ignored responses from individuals in a "shocking" attempt to spin statistics."

"He added: "It looks like parents have hijacked this consultation to start a fight back against the Named Person scheme. On some questions, these individuals are almost unanimous in their disagreement with the Government. The Government analysis tries to sweep these figures under the rug but there is no getting away from it: the public do not like the Named Person..."

"In total, 149 organisations and 133 individuals responded to the consultation. The organisations were broadly supportive of the principles of the Act while individuals, who mostly "did not engage with the consultation questions", were generally strongly opposed."

It was support from organisations that allowed the Scottish Government to sneak the Named Person scheme into legislation.

Many comments show a lack of understanding of what the Named Person proposal is really about: gathering, sharing and analysing all children`s private information, including associated adults. Big Data and big data analytics is going to be the way forward in providing integrated services which is why the Scottish Government wants to create a £12million database to work alongside the Named Person scheme.

The battle is about the right to a private and family life and has nothing to do with child protection which cannot be improved by overloading the system.

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