GIRFEC Practice Development Panel: minutes October 2018

Minutes from the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) Practice Development Panel meeting on 4 October 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Maureen Falconer, Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Sally-Ann Kelly, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland
  • Jennifer King, Association of Directors of Education Scotland
  • Annette Holliday, Community Practitioners and Health Visiting Association
  • Mike Burns, Social Work Scotland
  • Susan Quinn, Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Kenny Meechan, Glasgow City Council
  • Alan Small, Child Protection Committees Scotland in place of Ann Houston
  • Clair Halliday, National Parent Forum Scotland in place of Joanna Murphy
  • Mairi MacPherson, Scottish Government 


  • Eddie Docherty, Scottish Executive Nursing Directors
  • Norma Shippin, Central Legal Office, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Ann Houston, Child Protection Committees Scotland
  • Brian Johnston, Police Scotland
  • Peter Hessett, Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators
  • Professor Paul Martin, University of West Scotland
  • Chris Creegan, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability
  • Joanna Murphy, National Parent Forum Scotland
  • Juliet Harris, Together Scotland
  • Lorna Greene, Royal College of Nursing

Items and actions

Chair welcomed the Panel and introduced new supporting officials. 

The Chair asked Panel to consider and approve minutes from the last meeting. Sally-Ann Kelly requested amendments which the Panel approved for publication. 

Action: Secretariat to update minutes from last meeting reflecting suggested amendments. 

The Chair informed the Panel that an independent analyst has been appointed to carry out the analysis of the consultation responses. The Chair reflected on the UK Government guidance for information sharing which published in July 2018. Scottish Government officials were asked to provide the Panel with a summary of their interpretation of this guidance. The Chair suggested a further discussion amongst the Panel in light of the UK guidance and reflection on the Panel’s current approach to the draft Code of Practice for information sharing. 

The Chair invited Maureen Falconer to provide the Panel with a summary of the ICO’s interpretation of the UK Government guidance. Ms Falconer helpfully provided the Panel with a summary and the Chair welcomed the wider Panel to provide their views on the UK Government guidance for information sharing but highlighted to the Panel that the UK Government guidance for information sharing is aimed at practitioners but the Panel’s draft Code has been developed for named person service providers/organisations and data controllers. 

The Panel were asked to make suggestions on how the key messages within the draft Code could be best communicated clearly to parents and families. Claire Halliday from NPFS asked for clarification on the next steps on how a platform would be developed to allow parents and families to engage and provide their feedback on the draft Code once the consultation process goes live. The Chair asked for this proposal to be actioned and developed as soon as practicably possible. Sally Ann Kelly stated that the statutory functions for a named person should be highlighted in the draft Code to provide clarity for not only front line staff within a named person role but for parents and families. 

Action: The Secretariat to set up a meeting with Claire Halliday and Joanna Murphy from NPFS to discuss and develop the proposed platform allowing parents and families to engage with the consultation process. 

The Chair concluded that the new UK Government guidance needs to be considered by the Panel and supporting officials before the current draft Code of Practice for information sharing is finalised for consultation. The Chair reflected on how far the draft come and commended the Panel for their efforts highlighting the ambition to provide the best support possible to children and families across the country. He underlined the important work of the National Implementation Support Group (NISG) who are leading on work to refresh GIRFEC policy guidance for the workforce and front line staff. 

The Chair asked for the Legal Focus Group to meet as soon as possible to reflect and discuss issues raised at the meeting which would allow the Panel to be in a position to finalise a revised draft Code. 

Members suggested the possibility of presenting the Education and Skills Committee with the draft Code and drafted guidance which would reflect the UK Government guidance for information sharing for those with named person functions. The Chair asked for officials and the Legal Focus Group to consider this approach. 

Action: Secretariat to arrange the next Legal Focus Group meeting. Officials and Legal Focus Group to consider the proposed approached suggested by Panel members at their next meeting. 

The Chair invited officials to update the Panel on discussions and progress from the last NISG meeting on 25 September. 

The Chair thanked officials and Panel members for attending and contributions at the meeting. 

Action: Secretariat to draft and circulate to the Panel for approval a brief update for the Deputy First Minister to reflect Panel’s current position.

Meeting closed.



GIRFEC Practice Development Panel
c/o Scottish Government
Children and Families Directorate
Victoria Quay

Telephone: 0300 244 4000 (0300 numbers are geographically neutral)

Back to top