‘Override parents’ consent’, named persons told

State guardians in Scotland are being told to routinely ignore the wishes of parents and children, it has been revealed.

A video tutorial reminds teachers acting as named persons that consent is needed before pupils’ personal information can be shared.

But it then tells them to override consent “by default”, explaining: “otherwise you’ll have to show you obtained parent and child consent”.

Convenience

In 2016, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of The Christian Institute’s case against the Scottish Government, declaring the data sharing provisions of the Named Person scheme to be illegal.

The court victory meant the statutory, compulsory scheme required a complete revision.

“otherwise you’ll have to show you obtained parent and child consent”Guidance for named persons

However, local authorities are still running non-statutory versions of the scheme.

‘Ridiculous’

Alison Preuss, of the Scottish Home Education Forum, said she was left “utterly dumbfounded” by the video.

She said: “I could not believe what I was seeing. You cannot do that and be compliant with data protection and human rights laws.

“It is ridiculous and flies in the face of the Supreme Court verdict.”

Monitor

The SEEMiS Group, which is owned and managed by Scotland’s 32 councils, produced the guidance. It runs the database into which schools enter pupils’ personal information in order to ‘track and monitor’ them.

There are renewed calls to scrap the Named Person scheme with attempts to make a “workable” policy proving too difficult.

Give up the ghost

Professor Ian Welsh, who heads up the panel to revise the implementation guidance for the scheme, has written to Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney to ask for more time, but campaigners say it is time to abandon it.

A spokesman for the No to Named Persons campaign said: “It’s another day, another delay and a whole lot more taxpayers’ money wasted on this embarrassment of a policy.

“It’s no surprise that John Swinney is ‘happy to accept’ another delay. It seems he will do whatever it takes to dodge the only decision that ought to be taken: ditching this discredited legislation altogether.”

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