In Holyrood yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon was pressed by Liz Smith MSP over the compatibility of the Named Person scheme with a child’s right to privacy.

Smith was highlighting concerns raised by Community Law Advice Network (Clan Childlaw), who recently explained that the plans could result in children having no expectation of privacy, which could lead to them shunning helplines and advisory services.

Currently information can be shared without a child’s consent if there is a “risk of significant harm” to a child.

But under the Named Person scheme information can be shared if there is simply concern for a child’s “wellbeing” – a phrase so broad that it now embraces terms such as happiness, quality of life, economic status, health, educational achievement and levels of respect for the child and others.

When asked to respond to concerns raised by Clan Childlaw, Sturgeon said: “Information sharing should always be appropriate, and it should always be proportionate to concerns about wellbeing”.

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