Keeping you up to date on the progress of the Named Person scheme and the NO2NP campaign.
Since the Named Person scheme was first mooted, it has been dogged by a series of embarrassing revelations and highly publicised gaffes. Despite the adverse publicity, the Scottish Government has ploughed on in the face of growing public opposition and media criticism.
Here are the Top Twelve Named Person blunders… so far:
1. Police: Stop
Police Scotland warn scheme could put kids at greater risk. It expressed concerns that children could be the victims of “further criminal acts” caused by the “significant time delay” created by the extra layers of unwieldy bureaucracy linked to the proposals. The warning was contained in an official submission on the guidance to how the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 will operate.
2. Stasi in their eyes
Hundreds of taxi drivers ordered to become spies in the cab and pass on information as part of the ‘Big Brother’ scheme. The demand, made by an ex-police officer employed as a Scottish Borders Council child protection officer, was recorded. He stated that they have a legal duty to pass on information to assist the Named Person if children make comments while being driven by cabbies hired by the council.
A Scottish Government training tool based on the game Cluedo, called for “effective intervention at even the lowest level of concern”. It says friends and landlords should feed information to the Named Person. ‘Information’ like a parent being “worried about work” or “enjoying a glass of wine during the week”.
4. Sowing suspicion
When the Named Person legislation was being considered in 2012, the Children’s Parliament spoke with over 100 children at schools across Scotland. To help pupils understand the Bill, they encouraged them to imagine Scotland as a garden, with each child as a special plant growing within it. They were told that “all the adults in their lives” are “Gardeners”, and the Named Person is the “Head Gardener”.
5. Back and Forth
Forth Valley NHS Trust tells parents all their kids’ medical information will routinely be sent to their Named Person – along with details of any missed appointments. The policy was amended after complaints from parents and adverse media publicity.
6. Not buying it
Scottish Government accused of trying to buy public support for the scheme after offering parents vouchers worth £25 to turn up to its Named Person promo.
7. TV Times
Government document about what a Named Person will monitor includes decisions about decorating their child’s bedroom and what the child is allowed to watch on TV.
8. Creepy questions
Who makes your tea? Is your home cosy? Do your parents make you feel special? What does your bedroom look like? Just some of the questions local councils want Named Persons to ask nursery kids. (And they plan to store all that confidential information on one giant council database.)
9. Coughing fit
Mother from the Borders told that she could be investigated for giving her sick child a dose of cough medicine. The woman had given her toddler a small amount of adult cough syrup because she had run out of baby medicine. After having second thoughts she rushed to hospital only to be told that her son would be fine as the dose was “well within limit”. However, nurses told her never to do it again, otherwise: “We would have had to refer you for investigation under the new Named Person laws”.
10. Head in the clouds
Scottish Government accused of living in “cloud cuckoo land” over bizarre graphics for teachers and health visitors responsible for implementing the project. The National Practice Model includes the ‘Wellbeing Wheel’, the ‘My World Triangle’ and the ‘Resilience Matrix’ to assess youngsters aged up to 18. The diagrams are used to examine eight aspects of every child’s life, known as the “SHANARRI” indicators – Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included. In total Named Persons are required to assess children on 529 indicators.
11. SHANARRI sing-a-long
Schools shell out £405-a-session from public funds to the Hopscotch Theatre Company which toured the country indoctrinating primary pupils with pro-Government propaganda about the “Getting it right for every child” policy – the foundation of the Named Person scheme.
12. Wellbeing wheels
Government attempts to measure ‘wellbeing’ – the key responsibility of Named Persons – require kids aged four to be asked if they can ride a bike. Officials will use this question as a way of monitoring if parents are bringing up their children in line with the Government’s ‘wellbeing indicators’.