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Fresh blow to named person scheme

October 2019

Deputy First Minister John Swinney
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Scotland’s proposed Named Person scheme has received a fresh blow that could derail the controversial proposals, experts have claimed.

According to latest information from Holyrood’s education committee, a code of practice that the committee demanded before it would allow the Named Person data sharing Bill to progress has not been created.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney set up a taskforce after the key information-sharing provisions were ruled unlawful by the UK Supreme Court in 2016.

In 2017 MSPs said they would not back the Scottish National Party’s Named Person scheme until a detailed code of practice on how it would work was available. A taskforce of experts was subsequently set up for this purpose.

However, the panel of experts has admitted it has now failed to provide a solution, with official minutes showing the panel has conceded defeat.

The minutes stated, ‘a statutory Code of Practice that must be applied in all situations is not the right thing to do at this time’. This could mean the proposals to set up a named person for each minor in Scotland could be derailed.

The No to Named Persons campaign group said in a statement the revelations ‘might just be the knock-out blow’ to the scheme.

The statement said, ‘Mr Swinney promised they would “develop a workable, comprehensive and user-friendly code of practice”. They have, unsurprisingly, concluded that this is impossible.

‘Time is well and truly up now. This exercise in social engineering has finally hit the buffers and must be dumped’.