Worried by statutory snooping – An anonymous teacher speaks out

I am a Scottish teacher and, in common with many others, my children attend the school where I work. My husband works there too. So, where does that leave us when the Named Person Scheme arrives in our classrooms? Where does that leave our children?

Classroom

Well. Here is how I understand it will work. Someone in the school (not me, not my husband) will be their Named Person. Perhaps my colleagues in guidance? Maybe the Head Teacher?

But, hang on. That’s my boss. My husband’s boss. How does that work? Please, Head, can I have some time off for medical reasons? Yes. My GP is Dr Smith. Oh, I know you don’t really want to phone her up to find out the extent of my illness. But you have to. It’s the law. Because it ‘may affect the wellbeing’ of my child.

A week off for gynaecological problems? Yes. No problem. I have told my children something bland that won’t worry them. But you think (as I do, secretly) that it might be cancer. Better share that with other people too, and make sure my colleague / boss discusses the implications with my children because I am clearly wrong to seek to protect them. Oh, and while you’re at it – make sure you get a copy of my results from the GP. After all, there is that law to consider.

Classroom

Thankfully, I am ridiculously healthy – for now. But, oh, another problem. I have an LGBT child, with the worries that come with that. Oh, that’s great! Make that homophobic bigot their Named Person, so glad you can help. Because you see, I know things about my colleagues that might make me less than keen to have them advising my children on these issues. I know about the one receiving treatment for alcoholism; the one who rates sport above all else and thinks books stink; the one who is having complex relationship issues; the bereaved one. They are people I work amongst and share my life with. Will my staff room moans about family life find their way into my children’s files? My colleagues might know Biology, or German or PE, but they are not trained counsellors and so, my vulnerable children, so protected by two loving parents, may be monitored by someone I do not trust.

Classroom

So, how are the Government going to square the fact that my children’s Named Person is my colleague or my boss? All the while, roaming the corridors and policing the classrooms of the school are not one, but two parents: capable, with degrees, and years of experience working with children, and who have known these particular children from birth.

Why can’t I be their Named Person? I am certainly qualified, more highly than any other human being on the planet, save their father. Why not me?

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