Campaigners opposing Scotland’s controversial Named Person scheme have launched a new petition, ahead of this week’s legal action against the plans.
The No to Named Persons (NO2NP) group collected signatures on the streets of Kirkintilloch and Dundee at the weekend, tapping into mounting opposition to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which was passed at Holyrood last year.
The petition says: “I oppose the Scottish Government’s plan to assign a ‘Named Person’ to every child in Scotland because it undermines families and diverts resources from children who need them.”
Under the law, every child in Scotland will be assigned a state-employed Named Person to monitor their welfare.
In January, judge Lord Pentland dismissed a judicial review brought against the legislation but three judges will consider an appeal against the decision during a two-day hearing starting on Wednesday.
The legal action was brought by The Christian Institute, alongside CARE, other charities and concerned parents.
A spokesman for NO2NP said: “We remain deeply concerned about the threats to the human rights of families to their privacy in their own homes as well as the breaches of data protection laws as the state passes confidential family information to and from different public bodies.
“It is anti-democratic, breaches the privacy of families and is an unwelcome intrusion into the lives of ordinary mums and dads trying to do their best to bring up their children.
“The state thinks the named person – a health visitor, a teacher or other professional – can fulfil the role better than mums and dads which is ridiculous.”
A charity that provides legal help for children has applied to intervene in the appeal, saying that the Named Person scheme creates a “serious risk” that young people will not access confidential services when they are in need of help.
Alison Reid, Principal Solicitor of Clan Childlaw, said: “We all want to make sure that children and young people in Scotland are protected and recognise that when child protection issues arise, these need to be shared appropriately amongst professionals.
“However, where there are no child protection concerns, a child, like anyone else, should be entitled to a level of confidentiality when accessing advice”, she added.