29 July 2016

Stevenson Welcomes Court Ruling as Legal Bid to Scrap Named Person Scheme Fails

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the ruling from the Supreme Court that the principle of providing a named person for every child does not breach human rights and is compatible with EU law.

The Children and Young People Act 2014 was passed with cross-party support and not a single vote against, by 103 votes to zero, in the Scottish Parliament. The policy was also supported by a majority of MSPs across parties during a parliamentary vote in June.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The publication of the Supreme Court’s judgement is welcome as is the fact that the attempt to scrap the named person service has failed.

“The Supreme Court has stated that the aim of the legislation, in promoting and safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people, is ‘unquestionably legitimate and benign’. It makes clear that the principle of providing a named person to support children and families does not breach human rights.

“The court has also ruled that greater clarity is required on the basis on which health visitors, teachers and other professionals supporting families will share and receive information in their named person role. The Scottish Government have indicated they will take immediate steps in this regard so from the point of view that this will add clarity to the scheme, this too is to be welcomed.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has pledged to work with key public services and children’s charities to ensure the successful roll-out of the ‘Named Person’ service for every child.

He said:

“Ministers remain absolutely committed to the named person policy, developed over several years in consultation with a wide range of individuals and organisations working across Scotland to support children and families. We will work closely with local authorities, health boards and other key public service partners to ensure that those performing the role have the support and guidance they need ahead of implementation.”

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