The Scottish Parliament is today, 8th June , debating whether or not to put on ice – pending serious examination [for the fist time] of the wildly ill conceived and ill specified Named Person scheme of state guardianship for all babies and all young people in Scotland.
This comes at a time when a poll has shown that fewer people than in 2014 would vote now for Scottish independence – whether or not the UK goes Brexit; and at a time when two former party seniors, Jim Sillars and Gordon Wilson, have recommended the SNP ‘to stop digging’ on the ill fated Named Person excursion and bin it.
The debate to discuss mothballing the scheme pending the sort of scrutiny it ought to have had from ALL politicians at Holyrood frm the outset is wise.
Our of this mess can come a targeted scheme to protect children seen by elementary tests to be at risk – the sort of rudimentary indicators that would have saved the lives of Liam Fee and others – had they been taken as seriously as they ought to have been.
What the scheme has usefully identified is the value of a single qualified person:
- appointed to a specific child at the first reported sign of potential risk;
- to whom all information from all sources comes, where it indicates potential risk to a notified child;
- and from whom comes instructions to specific protection agencies on necessary investigative and protective actions to be taken without delay.
It is in the interests of the SNP that they do not put stubborn face saving above the safety and health of children at risk – and the Scottish Conservatives’ motion today has the grace to give them room for constructive face saving in a shared re-examination of how best to protect children at real risk.