Named Person ‘could come in by the back door’, campaigners warn

Opponents of the Named Person scheme have raised the alarm over documents showing the Scottish Government has a “Plan B” if legislators block the proposals for the state guardian programme.

Ministers were forced to rewrite their plans after the UK Supreme Court ruled that the proposal was illegal.

But now documents reveal the Government has a contingency plan to implement the scheme if its new legislation is rejected by MSPs.


Under the original plans, every child in Scotland was to be given a ‘named person’ – a state official tasked with looking after their “happiness”.

But following the court case – brought by The Christian Institute and others – the Government was forced to present a new Bill which greatly watered down its plans.

Now, documents reveal that Ministers have a “Plan B” if the Bill fails “to make sure parts 4&5 can be implemented without information sharing”.

Parts “4&5” refer to elements of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act.


Campaigner Lesley Scott – whose TYMES Trust organisation was also involved in the Supreme Court case – used a Freedom of Information request to obtain the documents.

She said: “These worrying documents show the focus is clearly on implementing Named Person by the back door, regardless of whether the new Bill gets through Parliament.

“Clearly, we are now dealing with a Government which is ignoring the UK Supreme Court, has no regard for the elected representatives of the Scottish people and is determined to shun public opinion.

“They are riding roughshod over the democratic system in pursuit of a flawed, failed and discredited project.”


Simon Calvert, speaking for campaign group NO2NP, said: “This proposed scheme was intrusive, incomprehensible and illegal.

“It still is, and continued implementation of it must cease. As must plans to continue its implementation in the future.”

And senior social worker Maggie Mellon noted that large amounts of information in the documents were missing.

“The names of all present – including the chair – are all redacted”. She added: “There is no way of identifying which agencies are providing wrong advice or whether the persons present represent their colleagues and agencies properly.”

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