New sex ed guidelines give priority to Named Person ahead of parents

The Scottish Government’s new sex education guidelines have deepened concerns over the ‘intrusive’ Named Person’ provisions, and are yet another example of the Government undermining parents.

The new 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.

A NO2NP spokesman criticized the guidelines, stating: “It’s beggars belief a teacher with concerns about the well-being of a child – including under-age sexual activity, which is a serious criminal offence – should be told by the government to pass on those concerns to the named person and not the child’s parents.

“How can a professional with potentially hundreds of kids to keep an eye on be given priority over the people that care about children the most – their own parents?

“Parents aren’t mentioned at all in the entire section on confidentiality in this guidance. The Government think the named person is entitled to know confidential, sexual health information about a child that its own parents are not.

“This is another example of the government undermining parents. The guidance’s empty platitudes about partnership between parents and schools are negated by the priority given to the named person’s role. What parent is going to feel they can co-operate with teachers if they know they will keep them in the dark about their child’s sexual activity but will share it with the named person?”

He added: “Mums and dads are being marginalised and sidestepped, their roles and responsibilities diminished and their authority undermined.”

Liz Smith, the Conservative young people spokeswoman, said: “I have huge problems with this. Parents will be very concerned that the first person who children will go to is the named person. Parents are being­ ­marginalised.”