Campaigners opposed to the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person scheme have been granted their request for a fast-track appeal, after losing an initial legal challenge last month.
The motion, granted at a hearing in Edinburgh yesterday by Lady Clark, means the case could be heard as early as June.
The request was made by lawyers acting for the No To Named Persons (NO2NP) group, which is spearheading opposition to the SNP’s plans.
A NO2NP spokesman said: “We are delighted at this decision which allows us to challenge the decision as quickly as we can, possibly in early June.
“Speed is of the essence as this draconian legislation poses a threat to the private lives of every family in the country that has a baby on the way or a child aged up to 18.”
Under the plans, an allocated state official – or named person – will have the power to share information with a wide range of public authorities and intervene without parental consent.
The scheme, which will be fully implemented from August 2016, has been widely criticised by The Christian Institute, along with other groups that back the NO2NP campaign.
Scotland on Sunday commented that “what alarms parents is the idea that the state should scrutinise every child, regardless of circumstances. Many see it as the state overstepping a line into family life, with undue cause; in fact, with no cause at all other than the theory that any child could, in theory, one day be at risk”.
Theresa Fyffe, Director of the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, warned of the threat the scheme poses to NHS and local authority budgets.
She said that “with the named person responsibility coming on top of recent changes to the workload of health visitors, many of our health visitor members have deep concerns that even with the planned boost in numbers there just won’t be enough hours in the day”.
Michael Urquhart, headteacher of Murrayburn Primary School in Edinburgh, has previously spoken out in favour of the scheme but has admitted his staff had expressed concern over the plan.
And teachers in the Falkirk area who are members of the largest teaching union in Scotland have requested talks with officials over their concerns about the workload implications of the scheme.