Parents: Named Person law was ‘enemy of trust’

Trust between parents and schools was seriously threatened by the legislation behind the Named Person plans, the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) has said.

The charity spoke out after the Scottish Government failed to include it in discussions on changing the legislation.

The Scottish Government is currently considering how to change its Named Person plans, following the UK Supreme Court’s unanimous rejection of the central provisions of the scheme.

Major problem

The SPTC’s executive director Eileen Prior criticised the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which sought to introduce named persons nationwide. She said she hoped the Government would ensure suitable changes were made.

“We are not lawyers or civil servants or politicians, we are an organisation committed to effective parental involvement in children’s education, but we could always see that there is a major problem with the Act.

… an enemy of trust

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council

“The key thing that has to be in place – or at least building – for good parental involvement, is trust.

Enemy of trust

“From our perspective, the Act was an enemy of trust, between parents and their child’s school, health services, social work, police and so on.

“If information about a family, parent or child can be shared without consent, the inevitable consequence is a breakdown of trust”, Prior stated.


In response, the Government said it had “just started work to engage a number of organisations” on changes to its scheme and “this will include parent representative groups”.

The Scottish Government and in particular Deputy First Minister John Swinney have been heavily criticised for portraying last month’s ruling as a victory for the Government.

Christian Institute Director Colin Hart said the successful legal action was a “vindication” of years of campaigning to protect families from state interference.

Dismissing Mr Swinney’s claims, he said new Named Person legislation would be impossible to operate in the way the Scottish Government wanted.

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