A mother has spoken of her ordeal under the Scottish Government’s fiercely unpopular Named Person scheme.
The woman, known by the alias Angela Allan, says that she and her two sons, aged 11 and 17, were subjected to highly intrusive sharing of their personal information which left them feeling violated and humiliated.
Her story comes after a ruling by the UK Supreme Court found key data sharing provisions in the plans to be unlawful.
In an exclusive interview for the Daily Express, Allan said she was dragged into the Named Person scheme more than two years ago, well before it was scheduled to come into full statutory force.
Her younger son, who has a rare genetic disorder, was moved from a learning support class into a mainstream class, resulting in a deterioration in his behaviour.
Because of this she agreed a home-schooling arrangement with visits from a support teacher and a worker from charity Parent to Parent.
According to the mother, this worker encouraged her to divulge sensitive information about both of her children. Thinking that this would be kept confidential, she also divulged information about past relationships.
The head teacher at her younger son’s school then called a multi-agency meeting. Based on vague concerns about ‘wellbeing’, 17 different professionals, including the police and the family GP, were invited to share and discuss sensitive information about the family.
This included details of her younger son’s “under-developed genitalia” which he did not wish to be disclosed.
Allan says she was deliberately excluded from this meeting and was not asked for consent before information was gathered or shared.
She said: “I feel that we were singled out to test the Named Person scheme, with disastrous consequences.”
we were singled out to test the Named Person scheme
Her complaints to her local authority, Perth and Kinross Council, were investigated but not upheld. It said the information sharing was permitted because of ‘wellbeing’ concerns. In some Government guidance wellbeing is defined as “happiness”.
Spokesman for the No to Named Persons campaign Simon Calvert said: “Sadly, there are many families in Named Person pilot scheme areas with stories like this.
“The Scottish Government, local councils, health boards and publicly funded voluntary agencies have spent years training Named Persons to grab and share private family information, without consent, at the low, vague threshold of an alleged ‘wellbeing concern’.
“Astonishingly, the Information Commission’s Office even issued guidance encouraging the practice. The Supreme Court has now made it crystal clear that it is a breach of data protection law and the right to privacy, which we have been saying all along.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said he remains “committed to implementing” the scheme and claimed he is working to address the issues raised by the Supreme Court judgment.
He is expected to make a statement on changes to the legislation this week.To read more about the UK Supreme Court judgment, which vindicated a judicial review by The Christian Institute, visit our Named Person page.