The Scottish Government has recently reaffirmed its commitment to its named person service, but confirmed that it would not commence the related provisions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 on 31 August, pending changes to the Act following the UK Supreme Court judgment in July.

An order is required to stop commencement of parts 4 and 5 of the 2014 Act. In addition, the other secondary legislation that implements parts 4 and 5 (the Named Persons Order, Child’s Plan Order and the Complaints Order) requires to be revoked. The necessary orders were formally laid before Parliament at the end of August.

“In its judgment last month, the Supreme Court dismissed a number of challenges to the named person policy and described its aims as ‘unquestionably legitimate and benign’,” commented Deputy First Minister John Swinney. “However, the court’s ruling made clear the Scottish Government needs to amend the information-sharing provisions in the 2014 Act and provide greater clarity about the basis on which information will be shared to ensure compliance with the ECHR.”

“We remain firmly committed to implementing the named person service to support children and their families,” he said. “We will engage with key partners across public services, the third sector, Parliament and the wider public to take this forward.”

“I am determined to see the service implemented as soon as practicable,” he added. “There will be a named person service, its availability guaranteed by law to those who want to use it. A commencement date for the policy will brought forward as part of the parliamentary process. The issue is one of timing not of policy.”

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