Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Advocates remain concerned

[Scott MacNab]

"The revival of controversial plans for a state-appointed Named Person for every Scots child could face another court defeat after legal chiefs warned the Scottish Government has failed to fix the flawed legislation."

"The latest proposals will still place an unfair burden on teachers tasked with sharing sensitive information about their pupils and threatens to undermine trust with families, according to the Faculty of Advocates."

"These are broadly similar to the criticisms of the original bill which was rejected by the UK Supreme Court just over a year ago - and opponents yesterday stepped up calls for the legislation to be scrapped."

"Education secretary John Swinney immediately pledged to bring back the plans which would see a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, appointed to look out for the welfare of all children."

"The Faculty of Advocates has now warned Holyrood`s education committee that modified plans - the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill - won`t work."

"Neither of these issues is easy to resolve and some of the criticisms of the Supreme Court will continue to apply if the bill as drafted is passed and the accompanying code of practice is approved, the submission states."

"The faculty said: `clear and accessible rules are needed for teachers, health visitors and social workers who would be required to assess whether sharing information is proportionate`."

"`We remain concerned that this is an exceptionally difficult requirement to impose on professionals [and] risks undermining the trust of families and the willingness to share information with the professionals concerned`."

[The Scotsman, Friday 18 August 2017]

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