Discussing the new law that allows a ‘named person’ for every child in Scotland | BBC 1 ‘Sunday Politics’ | 29 June 2014

June 30, 2014

Lesley Scott, representative in Scotland for the Young ME Sufferers Trust (Tymes Trust), took part in a BBC1 Scotland discussion yesterday (Sunday June 29) on the Scottish Government's new law that allows every child under the age of 18 – that's about a million of them – to have a ‘Named Person' who could intervene where there are concerns about child abuse.

Tymes Trust, an ME Association partnership body, have already condemned what they say is the dictatorial nature of the new law and – with the Christian Institute, who are leading the campaign – call for the law to be scrapped. The Scottish Government have said they will implement the new measure in full during 2016.

Watch the debate by clicking on the link below. Lesley Scott appears in the package that begins 50 minutes in, while Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People in the Scottish Government, defends the law. The Minister is put under considerable, almost Paxo-style pressure, by programme presenter Gordon Brewer.

It's a good, well-argued discussion. If you've got any views on the subject, please post them here.

View the programme HERE. It's available on the BBC i-Player for the next six days. The discussion starts 50 minutes in.

1 thought on “Discussing the new law that allows a ‘named person’ for every child in Scotland | BBC 1 ‘Sunday Politics’ | 29 June 2014”

  1. Jane Colby, executive director at the Tymes Trust, replied to me as follows on another forum:

    It’s good of you and the MEA to take an interest in this Tony. However, I should perhaps explain a few things.

    This new law doesn’t “allow” every young person in Scotland to have a Named Person, as you seem to be suggesting. It FORCES the Named Person upon them. It applies to every family in Scotland, from the birth of the child, not just to families who ask for one. There is no opt-out in the legislation. As the interviewer said: ‘Isn’t this a bit East German?”

    The people who are to be the Named Persons are the very people with whom families of children with ME are often in conflict already due to misperceptions about ME – eg school heads, health visitors. They are able to have sight of any confidential documents about the child, their health records etc, without parents’ knowledge or permission, and are
    expected to take action if there is any concern. The Scottish Govt have made it clear that although there are already agencies whose role this is (social services) the Named Person will be expected to intervene at an earlier stage ie at a level of concern which would not normally trigger a child protection investigation. So the level of intrusion into the family of a child with ME falls to whatever the Named Person may feel is a concern.

    A parent may not opt to be their own child’s Named Person. The role of the parents is in effect overridden.

    The Named Persons are agents of the state. They are in effect State Guardians.

    What they do is entirely at their own discretion. Their power is neither defined nor limited in the legislation.

    I reiterate: every Scottish family is drawn into this and cannot refuse. If they disagree with the Named Person’s views they risk being regarded as what one council defines as ‘hostile and non-engaging parents’. The consequences can only be imagined. It’s bad enough at the moment – we have now had 121 cases of child protection investigations of these families, and that’s before this scheme is fully implemented.

    Our own press release is at http://www.tymestrust.org

    A charity which supports young people with ME and their families has pledged itself to take on the Scottish Government in a court action to fight against ‘state snoopers.’ …”

    I hope people will take a moment to please read it if they haven’t already done so.

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