Sex ed: ‘Parents sidelined in favour of named persons’
Mon, 15 Dec 2014
Parents are being marginalised by Scottish sex education guidance that encourages teachers to speak to a child’s named person about any wellbeing concerns, campaigners say.
Under the Named Person scheme – which is currently being legally challenged by The Christian Institute, other organisations and concerned parents – all children in Scotland will be given a state guardian to monitor their wellbeing.
A NO2NP spokesman said that the new guidance on Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood education “beggars belief”.
In the section on confidentiality the guidance makes no reference to parents. Instead it says: “Staff should discuss any concerns they have with the young person and ensure they have access to confidential, young people friendly services, where appropriate.
“If there is judged to be a risk to the child’s wellbeing, staff should inform the child’s Named Person.”
NO2NP responded: “It beggars belief that a teacher with concerns about the wellbeing of a child – including underage sexual activity, which is a serious criminal offence – should be told by the Government to pass on those concerns to the Named Person and not the child’s parents.
“How can a professional with potentially hundreds of kids to keep an eye on be given priority over the people that care about children the most – their own parents?”
It added: “The Government thinks the Named Person is entitled to know confidential, sexual health information about a child that its own parents are not.
“This is another example of the Government undermining the importance of parents.”
It added that parents are being “marginalised and sidestepped, their roles and responsibilities diminished and their authority undermined”.
“It’s incredibly crass of the Scottish Government to issue guidance in these terms when its Named Person scheme is subject to a judicial review.”
The judicial review began last month at the Court of Session in Edinburgh with judge Lord Pentland considering the case.
Leading human rights QC Aidan O’Neill has previously said the Named Person plans amount to an “unjustified interference” with family and private life.
The Christian Institute is taking legal advice on the new sex education guidance.