Experts tasked with salvaging Named Person scheme admit defeat

The Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person scheme has suffered another major setback, which critics say threatens to derail the entire programme.

In 2017 MSPs said they would not back the SNP’s Named Person scheme until a detailed code of practice on how it would work was available.

But after over a year of deliberation, the experts tasked with coming up with a new code of practice have failed to produce a solution.


Deputy First Minister John Swinney set up the taskforce after the key information sharing provisions were ruled unlawful by the UK Supreme Court in 2016 in a case spearheaded by The Christian Institute.

Holyrood’s education committee insisted on an authoritative code before they would allow a new Named Person data sharing Bill to progress.

Official minutes show the panel has now admitted defeat, saying, “a statutory Code of Practice that must be applied in all situations is not the right thing to do at this time”.

‘Time’s up’

The No To Named Persons campaign said the revelations “might just be the knock-out blow” to the scheme.

It said: “Mr Swinney promised they would ‘develop a workable, comprehensive and user friendly code of practice’. They have, unsurprisingly, concluded that this is impossible.

“Time’s well and truly up now. This exercise in social engineering has finally hit the buffers and must be dumped.”

Related Resources