Keeping you up to date on the progress of the Named Person scheme and the NO2NP campaign.
Last month MSP Stewart Maxwell confidently stated during a Named Person debate in the Scottish Parliament that “the named person has no powers to compel parents or children to do anything without their consent”.
But we wonder if Mr Maxwell has ever read the Named Person legislation or the accompanying 90-page guidance… Because if he had, he would struggle to find much about parental consent…
Named Persons are given vast functions including “advising”, “informing” and “discussing” at their own discretion – without the need for parental consent.
Here’s what the Act itself actually says the Named Person’s functions include:
Parental consent is never mentioned in the Act. And it’s pretty clear that it’s up to Named Persons to decide when and how they carry out their functions.
Does Mr Maxwell still think that the Named Person has no powers to compel parents?
Let’s see what the Scottish Government’s Statutory Guidance says…
It’s accepted even by the Scottish Government that “wellbeing” is an extremely subjective term. Many parents have been asking what would happen if a parent disagrees with what the state thinks is right for their child. Where does that leave the parent?
The functions of the Named Person…continued:
No sign of the need for parental consent here… Can you spot any?
During the Judicial Review of the legislation last year the Scottish Government QC admitted that if a teenager discovered she was pregnant whilst in hospital the Named Person would definitely be informed, but he wasn’t sure about the parents.
Still think that “the named person has no powers to compel parents or children to do anything without their consent”, as Maxwell stated? Okay, let’s look at one more function of the Named Person…sharing a child’s personal data:
Still no sign of “parental consent” here… Not only does the Named Person not need to seek parental consent, it looks like the Named Person only needs to discuss matters with parents if they deem it ‘appropriate’.
Looks to us like Named Persons have plenty of powers which do not require parental consent.