15th October 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Decision to scrap ‘named person’ scheme is welcomed

4 comments, , by , in News, ST Online

Politicians from various parties have queued up to welcome the Scottish government’s decision to scrap its unpopular “named person” scheme.

The proposal from the SNP administration, which has been ongoing for six years, was finally dropped on Friday after heavy criticism.

The plan was to appoint a “named person” who would monitor the wellbeing of every youngster in Scotland, including Shetland, from birth to the age of 18.

The intention was for that person to be a single point of contact if a child or their parents wanted information, support or advice, and for other services if they had concerns about the child’s wellbeing.

The named person would generally be a senior teacher, health visitor or midwife, depending on the age of the child.

Deputy first minister and justice secretary John Swinney showed no embarassment when he announced the abandonment, however, preferring to highlight positive aspects of the unpopular idea.

Mr Swinney said the scheme would have given a “clear point of contact” for parents, carers and organisations.

Jamie Halcro Johnston

Highlands and Islands Tory list MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston welcomed the binning of the proposal, but said it showed the government’s unwillingness to listen to alternative opinions.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “I share the relief of many parents and teachers that this ill-thought through scheme has been scrapped by John Swinney. It’s just a shame the SNP took six years to realise how unworkable it is.

“This has caused real concern and real uncertainly for many, including local councils and other bodies which have been forced to make preparations for a scheme the SNP has now binned.

“The SNP have, time and time again, refused to apologise for this mess – one which is entirely of their own making. It comes as no surprise that this embarrassing announcement coincides with [First Minister] Nicola Sturgeon’s latest tax-payer funded jaunt overseas – to Germany, this time, to pick up a media award. It really does tell you all you need to know about the SNP’s priorities.

“This fiasco reminds us that Scotland has a government in Edinburgh utterly unwilling to listen to any opinion which differs from their own.”

4 comments

  1. Lilian Cameron

    As someone who spent my life working with children I am so disappointed that this scheme has been dropped. It certainly had some flaws but was there as a safety net for the most vulnerable of children. Unfortunately it appears that politics got in the way of its progress.
    I do hope all the opposition parties remember that in the unfortunate event of it being called for any time in the future.

    Reply
  2. Charles L. Gallagher

    I just hope that Halcrow-Johnson and his ilk don’t ever come to regret this for at the next ‘child abuse’ case that comes to court I hope like Lilian I hope that I never hear the words, “this tragedy may have been avoided if the ‘Named Person’ Acy had not been dropped.”

    We’ll wait and see.

    Reply
  3. Michael Garriock

    Lillian Cameron & Charles L. Gallagher.

    As deluded idealists I cannot fault you, but as realists I cannot say the same.

    Do you really believe that a child would choose to ‘grass up’ a relative to a ‘stranger’ in a position of authority, regardless how dire their circumstances were. Do you really believe a child in dire circumstances would be truthful about their situation to a ‘prying’, ‘interfering’ ‘stranger’.

    Blood is thicker than water, and your private life is exactly that, private. That’s how life is.

    To believe that this, perhaps well intentioned, but ultimately ill-conceived idea could have operated successfully is to be in denial of the serious shortcomings of the Scottish education system, social services and the NHS etc.

    It inevitably would have led to the blighting of the lives of the many through the ineptitude, incompetence, arrogance and mistakes of those charged with enforcing it, only to ‘save’ a very few. Perhaps that’s a fair trade to you, but it isn’t to me.

    Keeping people safe is very laudable, but until such time as those given the power to ‘intervene’ are made more competent and accountable, they themselves are also abusers.

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      I understand do-gooders sometimes get it wrong. I was in a pizza place once and a young man was shouting at an elderly woman. I asked her if she was OK. He shouted at me that she was deaf. I left a peerie bit affronted because of his aggression but I would do this again if I thought someone was in danger.

      I did work experience in Bells Brae in secondary 5. The teacher said one of her primary 5s got himself out to school every morning – the whole school knew, probably the whole neighbourhood, but did anyone intervene? Maybe in this day and age it does not have to be codified but we all have a duty to make sure the vulnerable are ok.

      On Countryfile they did a piece on domestic abuse in a rural setting. It was very sad and a son talked about how his father had deliberately cut the family off from everybody by moving to the country and making it difficult for them to have people over. Eventually the mam left and the dad killed her and their daughter. It was about control and getting the family away from others.

      Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.