Almost a third of local authorities in Scotland have refused to roll out the Government’s controversial survey into the sex lives of young people.
Of Scotland’s 32 councils, ten have already refused to distribute the survey, with a further eleven still reviewing the suitability of its content. The Christian Institute has been urging parents to write to their local councillors to express their opposition to the use of the survey in their own area.
The Scottish Government is pushing councils to gather information through its ‘Health and Wellbeing Census’, a survey that asks teens in years S4 to S6 shocking sexual questions, and primary school children intrusive questions about their home life.
SNP-led West Dunbartonshire Council became one of the latest local authorities to decide not to issue the survey.
At a recent meeting, Labour councillor Douglas McAllister said: “Such ideas and behaviours presented to 14-year-old children somehow creates the impression that it is the social norm for children two years below the legal age of consent to behave in such a way.”
He also said: “I don’t think it’s for us to spend all of that time and effort in the height of a pandemic to review and revise the Scottish Government’s flawed census.”
Karen Conaghan of the SNP commented: “To be quite frank I was horrified by thinking back to my own children being that age. I certainly would not want them to be asked such intrusive questions.”
Last week, the chief executive of Scotland’s largest parent charity called on the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville to drop the ‘Health and Wellbeing Census’.
Eileen Prior of the children’s charity Connect told the Government the survey was “inappropriate” and that it was “totally unacceptable” to ask children such questions about their personal lives.
Scotland’s Children and Young People’s Commissioner has also raised concerns about the survey, arguing that it fails to respect a child’s right to privacy.