A council leader and the head of a major trade union have blamed the Named Person legislation for the struggle to recruit head teachers in some areas.

The Press and Journal found that local councils have been struggling to recruit teachers and subsequently spent more than £30 million on classroom supply staff in three years. It was revealed that across Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Council there were 187 teaching vacancies, including 39 head teacher roles.

Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen City Council, commenting on Named Persons, said: “The legislation may be putting people off becoming head teachers at primary school, because in this role you are the state guardian for all the pupils at the school.

“It means you have to take legal responsibility for every child in the school – if anything goes wrong you are the guardian of that child and have to bring in all the relevant bodies to address the problem.

“The salary for primary school teachers is not much higher than in other roles. People don’t want added responsibility for not much more money, so the Scottish Government has to look at the national pay structure.”

Greg Dempster, General Secretary of the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland, remarked: “The named person puts an obligation for a head teacher to be the core point of contact for any issue of wellbeing or other concerns within the school. They have to set in chain meetings with other agencies if any issue to do with wellbeing arises.”

A Press and Journal comment piece on the news stated: “It is a galling task and one wonders why such a specialist child protection role is being foisted on teachers, who have enough to do as it is. There has been fierce criticism of this nanny state intervention in school and family life.

“Teachers are capable of raising their suspicions now, without additional formal responsibility – and there are enough child protection specialists in social services, hospitals and the police to provide this role effectively, if they do their jobs properly.”

NO2NP spokesman Simon Calvert said he was unsurprised by the news and said that of course the “draconian” Named Person policy would deter people from applying for jobs.

He commented: “This is hardly a surprise and it is worrying that a senior local government politician and a respected trade union leader are now highlighting problems in the Aberdeen area which will doubtless be replicated throughout the country.

“With so many of the professionals who are supposed to make this scheme work so concerned, you have to ask what will it take for the Scottish Government to finally admit the scheme is doomed and scrap it once and for all.”

Media round up this week: w/b 29th June

Pressure has been mounting on the Scottish Government’s Named Person scheme this week, with a succession of media stories reporting serious concerns about the plans.

Teachers worry about increased workload as named person for pupils
Herald Scotland, 03 July 2015

Herald teachers worried

Minister falters over SNP “state snoopers” plan
Scottish Daily Mail, 03 July 2015
DM - minister falters over NP on radio phone in

Child plan could make risk harder to spot, police warn
The Times, 03 July 2015

Scottish Government under pressure over ‘state guardian’ plan
Scottish Daily Telegraph, 02 July 2015

Ken Macintosh demands review of Named Person plans
The Scotsman, 02 July 2015

Police Scotland criticise SNP Named Person plans
The Scotsman, 02 July 2015

Outrage over £100k PR bill to promote ‘state snoopers’
Scottish Daily Mail, 01 July 2015

Confusion over plans to appoint ‘named person’ for every child in Scotland
Herald Scotland, 01 July 2015

Front page Herald 1st July

Herald View — Getting it right for youngsters
Herald Scotland, 01 July 2015

Named person plans clarity sought
Press and Journal, 01 July 2015

Listen: Callers flood BBC with opposition to Named Person plans
No2NP, 03 July 2015

Media Round Up: NO2NP Petition Launch and Action Day

Media coverage of the NO2NP petition launch and Action Day

‘Named person’ opponents step up campaign
The Scotsman, 31 May 2015

‘Named person’ opponents campaign
The Courier, 31 May 2015

‘Named person’ opponents campaign
Press and Journal, 31 May 2015

‘Named person’ critics step up campaign
BBC News, 31 May 2015

Fresh campaign to fight ‘state guardian’ scheme
The Sunday Times (£), 31 May 2015

Campaign against ‘named person’ plan steps up ahead of court ruling
STV, 31 May 2015

Protesters gathering names against named persons law in Dundee
The Courier, 30 May 2015

Media Coverage of the Named Person legal action

The much anticipated legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person provisions got underway this week in Edinburgh’s Court of Session. Aidan O’Neill QC is representing the campaigners opposing the scheme and warns that plans for a Named Person for every child in Scotland is a “dangerous route to go down”.

See the latest news roundup on the court case:

Lawyer slams SNP’s state guardian project
Scottish Daily Express

Legal challenge to child guardian plan begins
The Scotsman

Legal challenge to ‘named person’ bill starts
The Herald (£)

Named person legal challenge starts
The Courier

Named guardian legal bid to start
BBC News

Named persons legal bid to start
Press and Journal

The scale of opposition to the child guardian plan suggests the SNP has got it wrong
The Telegraph

Named persons legal bid to start
The Courier

Legal fight starts over SNP ‘state guardian for every child’
The Telegraph

Challenge to child guardians law begins
The Times (£)

Named person legal challenge starts
Glasgow Evening Times