Information on Named Person Scheme implementation: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01704
Date received: 19 June 2018
Date responded: 12 July 2018

Information requested

Information on when the named person scheme is getting implemented on the whole of Scotland?

How much money has the scheme cost so far before its implementation (The last figure I heard was 63 million pounds).

What the Government's stance on the scheme is relating to it being mandatory or not?


When will the Named Person scheme be implemented throughout Scotland?

The named person service is a central part of the Scottish Government's 'Getting it right for every child' (also known as GIRFEC) policy, the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people.

Appropriate sharing of relevant and proportionate information is a vital part of making the right support available to families at the earliest opportunity, which is at the heart of GIRFEC. Sharing the right information at the right time improves outcomes for children, young people and their families and can help prevent concerns growing into problems. The named person service is currently being implemented throughout Scotland on a policy basis.

The legislation for named person service was subject to challenge in the case of 'The Christian Institute and others (Appellants) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent) (Scotland)' [2016] UKSC 51 ("the Christian Institute case"). In that case, the Supreme Court found that the aims of Part 4 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, which relates to the named person service, were 'legitimate and benign'. It went on to find, however, that the information sharing provisions of that Part were not in accordance with law under article 8 ECHR.

The Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in July 2017. The Bill responds fully to the findings of the Supreme Court and will bring consistency and clarity to the sharing of information about children's wellbeing across Scotland.

Further consideration of the Bill by the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee is currently pending the outcome of the work of the GIRFEC Practice Development Panel which was established by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, in November 2017. This panel is independently chaired by Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Health and Social Care Alliance, and is currently developing a code of practice for information sharing. Scottish Ministers are required under the Bill to issue a binding code of practice on information sharing and the work of the panel is intended to ensure that the code properly reflects relevant legal requirements and is workable, user friendly and comprehensive.

The Scottish Government continues to work closely with the Scottish Parliament regarding resumption of the Bill process on completion of the panel's work, ensuring that children and young people and their families can benefit from the named person service and get access to the right support at the right time from the right people.

How much money has the scheme cost so far before its implementation?

To prepare for the delivery of the Named Person service and Child's Plans across Scotland, the Scottish Government supported local implementation by providing local authorities with £10.2m in 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Is the Named Person scheme mandatory?

The Named Person service is available as an entitlement with no obligation for children and young people or parents to accept any offer of advice or support. In those local authority areas where the named person policy has been implemented and every child up to the age of 18 (and beyond if still in school) has access to a Named Person.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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