Named Person pilot reveals names and addresses of at-risk kids

Private information about children was published online by a council piloting the controversial Named Person scheme, it has been revealed.

Dundee City Council published the names and addresses of several at-risk children in a ‘user guide’ for a policy called Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC).

The blunder has provoked further criticism of the Named Person scheme, just days after a major climbdown by the Scottish Government.

‘Careless disregard’

One of the children featured in the guidance was on the child protection register. His first name, date of birth, school and sibling’s name were made public. Details of a second child’s full name, address and school were also published.

Simon Calvert, of campaign group No to Named Persons (NO2NP), said the move reveals a “careless disregard” for sensitive information about children and families.

He told the Scottish Daily Mail: “The Scottish Government and the bureaucrats backing this scheme accused us of exaggeration and scaremongering. These shocking revelations prove our concerns were well-founded and accurate.

“This demonstrates at least one local authority running a Named Person scheme has shown a crassly insensitive and careless disregard for the private data of children and their families.”

Data sharing

The Scottish Government’s original plans for a Named Person scheme allowed professionals to share sensitive data about children and families under the low threshold of ‘wellbeing’ concerns.

However in July last year, the UK Supreme Court ruled that central data-sharing provisions in the scheme contravened human rights legislation. A full statutory roll-out of the scheme, scheduled for August 2016, was put on hold.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney initially said the plans could be tweaked and rolled out later this year.

But last week, after a period of consultation, he admitted that a new Bill would have to be drafted and introduced this year, with implementation not likely until 2018.

‘Major climbdown’

Crucially, Swinney also revealed that in the new proposals, sharing of personal information under the Named Person scheme will have to comply with existing law.

In response, NO2NP said: “However they try to spin it, this is a major climbdown by the Scottish Government.

“After two years of causing fear and confusion amongst parents, they are now conceding that they cannot lower the threshold for non-consensual disclosure of personal information on families.

“They are reverting to the existing threshold of ‘risk of harm’. It’s about time.”

Related Resources