The Named Person scheme was a ‘costly farce’ and ‘protracted folly’ which had to be scrapped, newspapers have said.
Yesterday’s decision by the Scottish Government to axe the scheme received wide coverage across TV, online and in newspapers.
Editorials in The Times, Daily Record and the Scottish Daily Mail welcomed the decision – which came three years after The Christian Institute won a legal case on the issue at the UK Supreme Court.
The Times said the move ended “one of the most protracted follies in the history of the Holyrood parliament”.
Noting ministers’ claims that the scheme needed only ‘tweaking’ after the Supreme Court ruling, the newspaper said in the end the Government “had little choice” but to withdraw the scheme.
“It has been a slow learning process, during which the government has had to be dragged to the point at which it recognises something that was clear long ago: the named person scheme, as planned, was not fit for purpose.”
The Daily Record reflected that “the Scottish Government would not listen to advice – and a legal ruling – that their course was flawed”.
In its editorial the Scottish Daily Mail – which has campaigned against the scheme for years – thundered against the plan.
“It is hard to imagine a more appallingly intrusive example of state interference in family life than Named Person.”
Describing the scheme as a “costly farce”, the newspaper said the Government had insisted on “clinging” to it despite the clear legal judgment in 2016.
That ‘waste of time and taxpayers’ money’ made the situation “one of Holyrood’s most shameful chapters”.
Thanks to God
Under the original plans, every child in Scotland was to be assigned a “named person” – an employee of the state to oversee their ‘wellbeing’ or ‘happiness’.
The Christian Institute spearheaded a legal action against the law, and in July 2016 the Supreme Court ruled that its key elements were unlawful.
As a result, Education Secretary John Swinney said yesterday the Government would repeal parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, bringing a formal end to the statutory scheme.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “We give thanks to God for this decision, and I want to thank all our supporters who have prayed and worked towards this day over the past five years.”