Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Architect of Named Person remains defiant
"A defiant architect of the controversial `named person` scheme in the Highlands has pledged it will continue despite a government U-turn."
"Highland Council’s director of care and learning Bill Alexander insisted it had shown a `positive impact` on children’s welfare and been `totally embraced`."
"But campaigners who successfully fought a legal challenge against data-sharing elements of the `totalitarian` national policy suggested he was in denial about the implications of the Supreme Court ruling."
"Mr Alexander conceded that the information-sharing part of the project was now under review."
"He claimed however that the overall concept has been good for children in the north and should go on..."
"Mr Alexander piloted the scheme, as part of a wider `Getting it right for every Child` policy which was created in 2010 to offer greater protection for vulnerable youngsters..."
"Mr Alexander said: `The critical issue is that the previous version talked about a duty to share information. It’s now a duty to consider sharing information`..."
"`Materially, nothing has changed in any substantial way. We’ll reflect on the legislation and the guidance. We’ll reflect on our practice model guidance and if it needs to be improved on the basis of what’s in the legislation that will go in`..."
"Simon Calvert of the pressure group No To Named Persons (NO2NP) successfully fought the scheme in the UK Supreme Court, forcing significant changes to the scheme."
"Speaking yesterday, he said: `Mr Alexander sounds as if he might need a named person himself to help him with his reading – reading the Supreme Court judgement, that is`."
"The judges regarded his named person scheme as having the whiff of the totalitarian state about it. That’s hardly something to be proud of."
"As far as the beating heart of the Named Person scheme goes, the power to grab and share private information on families, that’s been ripped out thanks to the Supreme Court."
"In that respect, it’s as if the named person legislation was never passed."
"The Court also forced the government to make clear that the scheme is voluntary, though families are still not being given a clear statutory opt out in the new bill..."