Scot Gov issues ‘advice is voluntary’ warning to councils

A warning about information sharing practices has been issued to local authorities and health boards by the Scottish Government, following the Supreme Court ruling.

In a statement released at the weekend by the Scottish Government it was disclosed that Named Persons have been told to “take care to reiterate the voluntary nature of any advice, information, support or help offered”.

This latest development is in contrast to last week’s public response from Deputy First Minister John Swinney, in which he claimed a Government ‘victory’, despite the judgment rendering the Named Person legislation unlawful.

The statement also revealed that Swinney had begun talks with “senior figures from the public and third sectors including NHS, local authorities and Police Scotland to discuss our next steps”.

It said the Deputy First Minister had joined a conference call following the Supreme Court ruling, involving:

• Perth and Kinross Council
• NHS Dumfries and Galloway
• Highland Council
• Children in Scotland
• Barnardo’s
• National Parent Forum Scotland
• Police Scotland
• Care Inspectorate
• Education Scotland
• Information Commissioner’s Office
• Social Work Scotland
• Health Scotland

Commenting on the news, a NO2NP spokesman said the group was “sad and disappointed” that Swinney was only consulting with “those who support his government’s policy”.

The spokesman said: “As the organisation which successfully challenged the policy through the courts, we would like a meeting with the minister to place our views on the record as to why he should scrap this scheme and the pilot projects. We believe our views chime with a significant and growing number of people in Scotland.”

Following the Supreme Court decision last week serious questions have been raised over the prospect of parents suing councils which have been operating pilot schemes.

NO2NP spokesman Simon Calvert, said: “The point is there are local authorities that have been running Named Person pilot schemes on the expectation that this law would come into force. They have in practice been sharing data at the much lower level enshrined in the Named Person law.”

“So, those local authorities should be quaking in their boots, they should be worried, very worried, about parents making subject access requests and finding out data has been shared on them in breach of the data protection and human rights law. They should be worried parents are going to sue them.”

Sign the petition

Share:
people have
signed the
petition so far

"I oppose the Scottish Government's plan to assign a 'Named Person' to every child in Scotland because it undermines families and diverts resources from children who need them."

I am a resident of Scotland and 16-years-old or over