A website designed to educate children about Scotland’s controversial Named Person scheme has been described as “blatant propaganda” by critics.
The Scottish Government website, which cost taxpayers £18,000, aims to convince children that state guardians, set to be brought in under the scheme, will be their ‘friends’.
The No to Named Person (NO2NP) campaign and MSP Liz Smith have spoken out against the site.
Speaking to the Scottish Daily Mail, a spokesman for NO2NP said: “This is an astonishing example of blatant propaganda by a Scottish Government intent on stripping the rights and responsibilities of mums and dads for their children.”
The Scottish Conservative spokesman for young people, Liz Smith, also criticised the move.
She said: “The named person policy is an unacceptable intrusion into family life which is why it is facing a legal challenge.
“This taxpayer-funded website is unnecessary and I am sure that will be the view of most parents.”
The website aims to portray named persons, who could be a guidance teacher or a head teacher, as a “friend instead of a teacher”.
On one part of the site, a named person is described as a “kind, elderly lady with rosy cheeks and a permanent smile”.
Parents’ role denied
On another, children are reassured: “Most likely you won’t notice anything different at school. You’ll only get help from your named person if there are concerns about your wellbeing.”
Earlier this month, Maggie Mellon, who is a social work consultant with over 35 years experience, warned that the “crucial” role of parents is completely denied under the Named Person scheme.
Speaking at a roadshow event for NO2NP, Mellon said families are only seen as being “caretakers on behalf of Government”.
“Children’s rights have also been interpreted, almost exclusively, as something that’s opposed to parents’ rights”, she added.
The Named Person scheme is part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, which doesn’t mention family once, according to Mellon.
Mellon said the legislation “as a whole does represent a complete denial of families and of the crucial role of parents”.
The Christian Institute, alongside other groups and concerned parents, has launched a legal challenge against the scheme.