Teachers are increasingly concerned about the “viability” of the Named Person scheme, Scotland’s biggest education trade union has warned.
The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said a teacher in a large secondary school may end up teaching their subject less because of the burden of being a named person for 200 children.
Under the original plans, every child in Scotland was to be given a state official to monitor their ‘wellbeing’. Following a Supreme Court challenge spearheaded by The Christian Institute the proposals were drastically watered down.
‘Reconsider the policy’
Holyrood is now investigating the new proposals, and has heard serious concerns from lawyers, experts on child law and others.
EIS’s fellow teaching union NASUWT has also called for the Government to “reconsider this policy”.
And Scottish Women’s Aid said vulnerable people are being put at risk by a “lack of accountability around information sharing”.
The EIS noted its support for the overall principle of a single point of contact for children, but said, “there are growing concerns among EIS members in schools about the viability of the Named Person”.
The union said the administration pressures around the Named Person were “unacceptable”. “It is the firm view of the EIS that schools will need additional administrative staff.”
Giving the example of a physics teacher who may be the named person for 200 children, the EIS said they are “likely to have less time available for the teaching of Physics than prior to the introduction” of the Named Person scheme.
It warned that the Government must find an agreeable solution that “avoids further additional and unsustainable workload”.
In the NASUWT’s Holyrood submission, the union also noted its support for the overall principle but said it was “concerned that the Government is underplaying some of the legitimate and significant concerns raised by the Supreme Court”.
And it said that under the information-sharing provisions in the new Bill, there was a “blatant and cynical attempt at buck-passing, where the focus is on protecting Scottish Ministers from further legal action”.
‘Lack of clarity’
Last month the Faculty of Advocates warned of a “serious lack of clarity” in the new proposals, while Clan Childlaw called for the Government to withdraw its new Bill.
Edinburgh Council and NHS Highland have also raised questions over the new proposals.