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Pause in named person a chance to drop whole scheme

9 Aug 2016

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Education secretary John Swinney has confirmed the unlawful named person policy has been put on hold.

In a letter to MSPs today, he said the Scottish Government “will not commence any provisions” within parts of the legislation.

He added the changes would “require the agreement of the Scottish Parliament”.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said this now presented the SNP with an opportunity to drop the hated scheme altogether.

The letter comes weeks after the Supreme Court ruled elements of the state guardian plan to be unlawful.

It followed years of campaigning by the Scottish Conservatives, along with experts, charities and families, to stop the proposal.

And today, Mr Swinney told MSPs: “The Scottish Government is required to amend the information-sharing provisions in the 2014 Act to provide greater clarity about the basis on which information will be shared to ensure compliance with the ECHR. This needs to happen before we can commence those provisions and will require the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

“Given the time required for Parliamentary and legal processes to achieve the required changes to the 2014 Act the Scottish Government will not commence any provisions within Part 4 (Provision of Named Persons) and Part 5 (Child’s Plan) of the 2014 Act on 31 August 2016.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“This is government confirmation that named person is now paused.

“John Swinney should use this opportunity to drop the scheme altogether.

“It’s a chance for the SNP to swallow its pride and do the right thing.

“Public support has plummeted and even Labour and the Liberal Democrats – who eagerly backed the proposals when it mattered – are having second thoughts.

“It’s a policy that is flawed, unlawful and deeply unpopular among parents and those tasked with implementing it.

“Instead of telling families how to raise their children, the Scottish Government should admit it seriously over-reached and got this one wrong.

“It’s time to go back to the drawing board and focus resources on those vulnerable and at-risk families who need support most.”

For a copy of the letter, visit:
bit.ly/2bbjeko

You can sign our petition calling on the SNP to scrap the named person scheme altogether here.