The Scottish Government’s “calamitous” Named Person scheme has faced fresh criticism from a national newspaper.
Scotland on Sunday noted that there is ‘growing concern’ over the scheme ahead of its statutory introduction in August.
The Paper was responding to recent analysis of the scheme’s complaints procedure by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Jim Martin.
In a letter to MSPs, Martin expressed fears that the complaints procedure being introduced by Holyrood is too rigid and so could become “outdated”.
The newspaper’s editorial commented: “Most children already have guardians – their parents – and we sympathise with those who believe the state has no place in their families.
“It is important to remember that mechanisms to ensure that children at risk are identified have existed for decades.
“Social work departments do much to assist in cases where children are believed to be in danger.”
Referring to Martin’s letter it questioned how much trust parents can have in the Named Person scheme if “even the public servant who will have responsibility for dealing with any clashes that may arise between parents and the authorities has reservations?”
It continued: “Parents and those who will be expected to act as ‘state guardians’ have the right to expect the legislation is fit for purpose.
“There are serious questions now for the Scottish Government to answer about whether that is, in fact, the case.”
Responding to the Ombudsman’s letter Simon Calvert, spokesman for the campaign group No to Named Persons (NO2NP) said: “We already know that named persons will accumulate and share secret family data almost at will. The scheme is so burdensome that the teachers and health visitors who are meant to take on the role are running away in droves.
“The police say it can put abused children at even greater risk. Lawyers are against it. Social workers are against it. Parents are against it. Now we get confirmation that the complaints system has been botched.”
He added: “The Named Person scheme may win the award for the most calamitous scheme the Scottish Government has ever dreamed up.”
Yesterday a Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Elaine Smith, challenged the SNP Government over the Named Person scheme in light of Martin’s letter.
Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell responded saying that Martin had only made a “minor technical point” and that he has otherwise been “keen to emphasise his support”.