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Named Person in Scotland

(24 Posts)
evesdottir Sun 18-Oct-15 12:06:55

If your family lives in Scotland, do you know that they will soon be subject to the Named Person law? Every child in the land will have a Named Person - usually a senior teacher or health visitor - who can override any decisions your family make about their children. In some areas, young children have already been asked intrusive questions about themselves and their family life. There's no opt out. If a family refuses to co-operate they're likely to be considered by the State to be poor parents. Children will be told that it's OK to keep secrets from their parents. Many parents are very alarmed about this - especially since one Named Person has just been exposed and jailed as a sex offender. Another concern is that it will divert resources away from those children who really need support. Do you think this is a good thing? There's a campaign group where you can get more information:

Bennan Sun 18-Oct-15 12:13:05

This doesn't sound good to me. The state has a duty to protect everyone in their care but this sounds more like control than care.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 13:09:43

Children have always had the right to keep secrets from their parents or, what is probably closer to the truth, to not tell their parents everything.

I first heard about Named Persons a year or so ago. I assumed my daughter already had a Named Person. In fact I know who it would be if she has and she dislikes him intensely. I doubt she'll be sharing much with him, nor should there be any need.

However, I think for children at risk the Named Person idea is to let them know that there is someone they can talk to if they need to.

Can you give more idea about the kind of family decisions that have been over-ridden, evesdottir. I can see there could be times when that is undesirable as well as an infringement of parental rights.

ninathenana Sun 18-Oct-15 13:32:07

Well that's one reason to be glad my DGC stayed in England with their father when DD moved to Edinburgh !

durhamjen Sun 18-Oct-15 13:44:56

They are not being forced to have one. They can have access to one if needed.
It's about the rights of the child, which in some cases is a good thing.

durhamjen Sun 18-Oct-15 13:46:53

It seems to me a bit like children in English schools having a mentor they can go to if they wish to talk about anything troubling them.

Elegran Sun 18-Oct-15 14:01:48

If they were having problems at home and needed someone to talk to about them, then knowing who they go to would be a good thing. This is not comulsory - it is up to the child to go to them.

If they took their problems to any other recognised counsellor, they could be asked intrusive questions - intrusive questions are what show up hidden abuse. If the questions all assumed that the parents were perfect then the child would not be believed if they volunteered any adverse information.

If one of them was revealed to be a sex offender, that is no different to a teacher or doctor being revealed as one. Presumably they are all investigated, and then they are exposed.

downtoearth Sun 18-Oct-15 14:54:58

If the decisions parents make regarding their children can be overridden,who the has absolute parental responsibility for the child/ren?

ninathenana Sun 18-Oct-15 15:08:47

The op states there is no opt out and a refusal can get you branded a bad parent confused

hildajenniJ Sun 18-Oct-15 15:17:07

My DD lives in Scotland. She has researched the named person law thoroughly. She is in agreement with it and says it is a good idea. I wonder if she knows about the one named person who turned out to became sex offender. I must ask her next time we speak.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 15:47:22

Refusal of what though, nina? I haven't encountered anything to be refused in my parental role.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 16:10:27

In the OP: "who can over-ride any decisions your family make about their children".


We parents make in-family decisions all the time. Usually (nearly always even) nobody outside the family knows anything about those decisions, nor do they need to know because most of it is trivial.

So to what decisions is the OP referring?

mcem Sun 18-Oct-15 16:35:51

A very alarmist take on this. For instance, one 'named person' has been found to be a sex offender. So have priests and teachers. It's sad fact but sex offenders can be found in many trusted roles and unearthing one in this context does not render the whole premise untenable.
I believe that this person in a school would be undertaking child protection and guidance duties.

Elegran Sun 18-Oct-15 19:03:13

They should be vetted thoroughly - just like all other individuals who come into contact with children - and it should be made clear that they are available for children to contact but it is not compulsory for a child to consult them.

Teachers have always been available if a child wants to speak to an adult. I am sure that if a child went to a form teacher with a problem, they would not be thrown out because that teacher wasn't the "named person".This scheme formalises it, and gives them a label and a framework for them to work in.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 19:10:39

I think optional availability is made clear but a child's named person can send for the child in school to speak to them. The child does not have to speak back.

Ana Sun 18-Oct-15 19:23:23

That sounds terrible, thatbags! So Teacher A can summons Child B and speak to him/her, but the child doesn't have to speak back (presumably they are informed of this option beforehand)?

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 19:33:58

I don't think the NP can summon a child without a good reason, which the child will probably already know about. What I mean about the child (am thinking teenager here) not having to speak back is that the child can be as bloody-minded as they like about [not] answering NP questions, etc. Normal teenager behaviour then.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 19:35:35

Scottish schools (secondary anyway) already have "guidance teachers", which amounts to the same thing as NPs as far as I can tell. They are there to help if the child wants.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 19:37:15

As to being summoned, it doesn't seem much different from being sent to the head's office for whatever.

Hellomonty Sun 18-Oct-15 20:50:35

This opening post is simply not true. I work in education in Scotland and the GIRFEC agenda (which this is part of) is about Child Protection. They do not have the power to "override decisions" that people make about their children. This kind of ill-informed scaremongering makes me very cross as it may mean that people, in their ignorance, cause disruption to a policy which may prevent the kinds of lapses in child protection which have led to the deaths of children such as Baby P, Victoria Climbé and Daniel Pelka. If you have a genuine interest in understanding what this policy is the details can be found here. The basic role, in day to day terms would be not different from, for example the current systems of pastoral care or guidance teacher (which every child already has) at school or health visitor (which every baby already has). The real difference is that if there are child protection concerns one person is able to have the information from all agencies so that these terrible lapses caused by no one having the whole picture about a child's situation should not occur.

Elegran Sun 18-Oct-15 21:00:11

Thank you, hellomonty That is a very clear and well-written account the named person scheme. If all posters were to read it, they would find a lot of their worries answered.

I noted particularly

"An important part of taking a child- and family-centred approach means respecting confidentiality. This means that children and families must always give permission for information to be shared unless seeking consent will get in the way of protecting the child from harm. "

That is not the power to over-ride parental decisions.

Ana Sun 18-Oct-15 21:02:26

Being sent to the head's office is usually an indication that the child has 'done something wrong' though, bags. Not for a friendly chat.

(Sorry to interrupt, Hellymonty, your post is very informative)

Elegran Sun 18-Oct-15 21:04:24

The link is even more informative.

thatbags Sun 18-Oct-15 21:10:57

In my limited experience, ana, a summons from a guidance teacher has been because the child has done something wrong or at least ill-advised.

Anyway, hellomonty's post and link should make it clear what the named person scheme is about and that it is a good thing.