Named Person plan suffers new blow as panel reveals ‘challenges’

John Swinney. Picture: Andrew Cowan
John Swinney. Picture: Andrew Cowan
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Controversial plans to assign a state-appointed “Named Person” to every child in Scotland have suffered a fresh setback.

An independent panel tasked with devising a “code of practice” to address concerns over information sharing has told Deputy First Minister John Swinney it is struggling to do this.

The plan was rejected by the UK Supreme Court in 2016 after a legal challenge brought by campaigners over the way private information is shared among schools, health visitors and other public bodies.

“The panel have found it challenging to achieve this without making the draft code detailed and complicated,” its chair Ian Welsh states in a letter to Mr Swinney.

• READ MORE: Government ready with Plan B for Named Person

This would make the current situation more “complex and confusing” and damage support for children and families.

A short period of “targeted engagement” will now take place to better understand the legal on information sharing.

Simon Calvert of the No to Named Person campaign said: “They’re telling Swinney there should be no new code, which means no new information sharing law. This would leave us with a Named Person Lite, subject to the same laws and guidance on information sharing as everybody else.”