A local children’s campaigner has welcomed the government’s decision to repeal the controversial named persons law.
Beth Morrison, who has spent years campaigning for children’s rights, said she was delighted at the decision, announced yesterday.
Education Secretary John Swinney scrapped parts four and five of the Children and Young People Act of 2014, which provided for a non-family legal guardian for every young person in Scotland.
Beth said: “The named person legislation focused on family homes which were seen to be places of risk and harm to our children’s ‘wellbeing’.
“The list of ‘risk indicators’ against parents were endless, yet there were no risk indicators for a child being mistreated or neglected by any professional or ‘services’. Every parent in Scotland was deemed a potential child abuser, but named persons were not – Beth Morrison
“The Scottish Government now need to apologise for their failure to uphold the human rights of children and their families and respect their right to a private family life.”
Stewart Hunter, the convener of Dundee City Council’s children and families services committee, said the council would continue to be committed to protecting youngsters “irrespective” of the decision.
He said: “I want to reassure our young people and their families that our priority remains in helping them whatever their circumstances and to ensure that they receive the appropriate support at all times.
Mr Swinney told parliament: “We will withdraw our bill and repeal the relevant legislation.
“Instead, existing voluntary services that provide a point of contact for support will continue under current legal powers, where councils and health boards wish to provide them and parents want to use them.”
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The policy was introduced to support the government’s child protection policy.
However the plan faced an immediate backlash, with opponents warning it would be a “snooper’s charter”, and it faced legal challenges.
When the Supreme Court ruled on the issue in July 2016, judges declared the law was “unquestionably legitimate and benign” in its aims.
However they decided ministers had overstepped their legal competence in the provisions of the law which allowed public authorities to share information about young people.
The online reaction to the decision to scrap the scheme
Named Person has been tested very successfully in the Highlands. What would you replace it with? What will it be replaced with now?
— Colin Dunn (@Zarkwan) September 20, 2019
— pamelatiree (@pamelatiree1) September 20, 2019
Controversial Named Person policy is scrapped
'Scottish Greens education spokesman Ross Greer said the policy had been "devastated" by the "bungling" of the government.'https://t.co/FtsyYkW2FH@tes @Henry_Hepburn @scotgp #Scottish #Greens #EduTwitter
— James Willats (@JamesWillats) September 20, 2019
I wish to goodness there had been a Named Person around when I was a child. How different things might have been.
— Suzanne "vile cyberbat" Bosworth, Esq. #FBPE (@MediaWeasel) September 20, 2019
Many Health Organisations across Scotland saw the benefits of Named Person and were keen to adopt it. Not one health authority would back the 120,000 austerity related deaths that came about under Tory Rule.
— Craig5tewart (@Craig5tewart1) September 20, 2019