Campaigners take Scottish Government back to court over sex ed guidelines

The Scottish Government has been summoned back to court just weeks after the Named Person legal challenge was heard in Edinburgh’s Court of Session.

Judge Lord Pentland, who presided over the judicial review, considered evidence involving new sex education guidance issued by the Scottish Government, which had been criticized for putting the Named Person ahead of parents.

The new sex education guidelines state that if a child discloses that underage sexual activity has taken place then teachers should “discuss any concerns they have with the young person and ensure they have access to confidential, young people friendly services, where appropriate”.

It then goes on to say: “If there is judged to be a risk to the child’s wellbeing, staff should inform the child’s Named Person”, but makes no mention of parents.

During the four-day judicial review in November the Government’s legal team argued that the legal challenge was premature because the plans are not scheduled to be implemented until 2016. But NO2NP says the Government has blown a hole in its own case by issuing statutory guidance to schools detailing some specific roles for the Named Person, hence asking the court to reconvene to consider the new evidence as part of the judicial review.

NO2NP spokesman, Colin Hart, said: “The Scottish Government has shot themselves in the foot. They are pleading to the court that the statutory scheme is not in operation whilst at the same time issuing statutory guidance to schools which assumes the exercise of the Named Person’s powers.”