Let’s stop the hyperbole and build public support for Named Person scheme

Ross Greer, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for West of Scotland, today (8 June) criticised opponents of the Named Person child protection scheme for whipping up a crisis of public confidence.

Green MSPs voted for the scheme as part of the Children & Young People Bill in the last Parliament, noting that it has widespread professional support, from Children 1st, the NSPCC and Barnardo’s to the Royal College of Nursing, the Police Federation and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Speaking in this afternoon's Conservative debate on Education, Ross Greer MSP said:

"It's disappointing that at a time of attainment gaps, unpopular standardised testing and the possibility of industrial action by teachers, the Conservatives feel that throwing obstacles in the way of important child protection legislation is their top priority in education.

"It is clear that the Scottish Government must embark on a campaign of building public confidence and better explaining what Named Person really means in practice. I am concerned that due to confusion and incorrect assertions, young people may no longer feel confident seeking confidential support and advice.

"Most children are not born at risk, and don’t enter nursery or school with an ‘at risk’ label on their shirt. Often those who are at the most risk are the hardest to identify. This is why a universal scheme is needed.

"Let’s review its effectiveness once implemented but for now, let’s stop the hyperbole, build public support and ensure that the guidance and resources are in place to make this the success it needs to be."