The Christian Institute

News Release

Delight at Scots Govt decision to axe Named Person scheme

Delight at Scots Govt decision to axe Named Person scheme

• John Swinney announces repeal of parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
• Colin Hart, The Christian Institute’s Director, said parents would be delighted and relieved.

Today the Scottish Government officially announced the end of the intrusive Named Person scheme, three years after the Supreme Court ruled against key elements of the scheme.

The Christian Institute – which spearheaded the legal action – welcomed the news. (See below for all parties to the legal action.)

Colin Hart, The Christian Institute’s Director, said: “Parents will be delighted and relieved at this news.

“For years we have said this scheme is wrong in principle. It is parents, rather than the state, who have the ultimate responsibility for raising children.

“The threshold for state intervention in the family has always been set high and it should remain that way. The Supreme Court underlined this in its ruling on the scheme.

“Some local authorities in Scotland may continue with something called a named person scheme, but it is legally toothless.

“We give thanks to God for this decision, and I want to thank all our supporters who have prayed and worked towards this day over the past five years.”

The Christian Institute added that this was a campaign that won in the court of public opinion, as well as in the highest court in the land.

While it is encouraging that such a major undertaking received such widespread support, other campaigns on Christian issues may not receive so many headlines. But they are just as important.

Education Secretary John Swinney told the Scottish Parliament that the Government would repeal parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, bringing a formal end to the statutory Named Person scheme.

Under the original plans, every child in Scotland was to be assigned a “named person” – an employee of the state to oversee their ‘wellbeing’ or ‘happiness’.


Notes to editors:

The Scottish Parliament passed the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act on 19 February 2014.

The legislation required state guardians, known as ‘named persons’, to record and share confidential information concerning the wellbeing of children and their parents.

The Christian Institute spearheaded a lengthy legal action against the introduction of the legislation, arguing that it contravened human rights. On 28 July 2016, in the case of The Christian Institute and others v The Lord Advocate (Scotland), five UK Supreme Court judges unanimously struck down the central provisions of the scheme.

The Court stated that the data sharing provisions in the Act breached the right to a private and family life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It also ruled that it had to be made clear that any advice offered by a named person is entirely optional.

The parties to the legal action were:
1. The Christian Institute
2. Family Education Trust
3. The Young ME Sufferers (“Tymes”) Trust
4. CARE (Christian Action Research & Education)
5. James McIntosh
6. Rhianwen McIntosh
7. Deborah Thomas

For press resources on the 2016 Supreme Court victory, see: