‘Govt buried Named Person concerns’ say campaigners

Campaigners have criticised the Scottish Government for scrapping an expert committee on the implementation of the Named Person legislation, set to come into force next year.

Minutes from a meeting of the GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) Programme Board last year have revealed that Police Scotland “raised issues surrounding ensuring high-risk children remained a focus”.

But the Government then suddenly decided to ‘wind up’ the group.


The minutes indicate that members of the board, including police, social workers, health boards, children’s charities, civil servants, councils and public sector unions, were not expecting the committee to end.

The committee was chaired by Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People.

The Scottish Express was told by the Scottish Government that “a decision was made at ministerial level to wind up the Girfec Programme Board”.

Resignation issue

The decision to stop the group was not publicised and committee documents show it was planning to work until at least August 2016, when the Named Person scheme is set to be rolled out across Scotland.

A spokesman for NO2NP commented: “If it is true that the Government closed the board down because they didn’t want it exposing the risks created by their Named Person scheme then this is a resignation issue for the minister.

“If child protection concerns expressed by senior police officers are being swept under the rug, what hope do we have that the Government will listen to anyone?”

Extraordinary situation

“So far the Government seem bent on pursuing it at all costs and against all objections. It’s time they listened to parents, police, social workers, teachers and all the others”.

Liz Smith MSP, a supporter of the NO2NP campaign, said this is an “extraordinary situation” considering that the committee had been expecting to continue meeting until next year.

She added: “The more this policy is discussed, the more that we are seeing concerns being raised, not only by parents but also by those who are on the frontline of delivery.”

Earlier this year, Police Scotland warned about a “lack of clarity” in the Named Person provisions, and raised fears that the scheme could delay removing children from abusers because officials are spending time conducting ‘wellbeing’ assessments.

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