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by Tom Freeman
08 March 2016
‘Named Person’ challenge reaches Supreme Court

‘Named Person’ challenge reaches Supreme Court

A legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s plans to introduce a single named professional for every child in Scotland reaches the Supreme Court today.

The case has been brought by three individuals supported by Christian charities and the Family Education Trust. The named person provision, part of the Children and Young People act 2014, would designate a single professional who would be responsible for linking support services for every child in Scotland. In most cases this would be a teacher or health visitor.

Critics have said it opens the door to the state “snooping” on families.


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The appeal argues the plans infringe on rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, but the Court of Session dismissed the case last September as “hyperbole”.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, of Care (Christian Action Research & Education) said: “There is a growing sense of alarm in Scotland at the plans. If introduced, the state would be assuming too prominent a role in the raising of young people.”

The Scottish secondary Teachers Association, however, supports the plans. General secretary Seamus Searson said the legislation supports families and improves access to services.

“A Named Person helps children and families get the right support at the right time from the right people. It does not replace or change the role of parents and carers, or undermine families.

“The ‘Named Person’ approach is not new. It is already operating across Scotland. However, the legislation is embedding best practice into law so that children and young people are receiving the best support and not left to the vagaries of different parts of Scotland,” he said.

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