Named Person is ‘unacceptable intrusion’, say Scots

Almost two-thirds of Scots believe the Named Person scheme is “an unacceptable intrusion into family life”, according a new poll.

A ComRes poll, commissioned by The Christian Institute, found widespread opposition to the Scottish Government’s intention to monitor every child.

Responding to the findings, Institute Director Colin Hart said the State “should not be targeting decent, hard-working people who are simply trying to raise their children according to their beliefs and values”.

‘Wellbeing’

Under the Named Person scheme, every child in Scotland will be assigned a state guardian from birth to the age of 18, who will be tasked with looking after their “wellbeing”.

But the poll showed a substantial majority of Scots think the proposals go too far.

Asked if ‘assigning a named person to every child, whether vulnerable or not, is an unacceptable intrusion into family life’, 64 per cent of adults living in Scotland agreed.

Only 24 per cent – less than one in four – think every child should have a state-appointed named person.

Every child

The vast majority – 80 per cent – believe the Government’s child protection resources should focus on those most at risk, rather than monitor every child and over 70 per cent say it should be up to parents to ask for help from the Government when they need it.

The poll also provided an insight into the lack of trust towards the Named Person scheme. Just 24 per cent of all Scots said they would trust a named person to always act in the best interests of a child – even where this conflicted with the wishes of the parents.

Finally, 79 per cent of parents in Scotland said they would be concerned they could disagree with the named person over what was in their child’s best interests.

Commenting on the figures Mr Hart described the Named Person scheme as “the most audacious power grab in the history of parenting”.

Parents

“Parents are, on the whole, best placed to care and look after their children and where they are not, the State and all of its agencies should focus on helping those people.”

The poll results come as Supreme Court judges consider their ruling on the legal challenge to the state guardian scheme.

The Christian Institute is spearheading the challenge alongside other concerned groups and parents.

The senior judges will deliver their verdict in the coming months and have the power to put a halt to the legislation.

Pilot schemes

The full statutory form of the Named Person scheme is due to come into force in August this year. However, pilot schemes are already operating in many parts of the country.

ComRes polled 6,120 British adults, including 532 in Scotland, online between 2 and 13 March 2016. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults.

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