Delay likely for named person policy

John Lamont.
John Lamont.

Implementation of the named person policy being planned in Scotland might have to wait if a decision by the UK Supreme Court is not forthcoming soon.

Inclusion in the 2014 Children and Young People (Scotland) Act of the provision that every child in should have a named professional responsible for them is now before the UK Supreme Court for determination, and it is due to become law on at the end of August.

The Scottish Parliament’s summer recess is fast approaching, and Deputy First Minister John Swinney has indicated that ministers will wait for the court judgement, saying: “It would not be prudent or responsible for a government to commence legislation while a decision from the court is still pending.

“The Government will not move to implement parts four and five of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act until there is a definitive judgement from the Supreme Court on this judicial review.”

Borders MSP John Lamont opposes the named person scheme, and he said: “Any delay in this scheme is welcome, and it should be used by the Scottish Government to rethink the policy entirely.

“I have consistently opposed the named person scheme as an unacceptable intrusion into family life and one which would divert already overstretched resources.

“In the Borders, teachers will be expected to monitor and report on 14,500 children without any extra resources from the Government.

“The tragedy of all of this is that it will make vulnerable children more likely to miss out on the help and support they need.

“I abstained from the vote because the legislation which introduced the named person scheme also included measures I supported, like expanding funded childcare hours.”