Angry Highland parents will give evidence during a £30,000 legal battle against plans to appoint a “named person” for every child in Scotland, it was revealed today.
Under the Children and Young People Act, which is due to be fully implemented by 2016, local authorities or NHS boards must appoint a “named person” – a health visitor or head teacher – to maintain a child’s record and details of any concerns.
They must also put plans in place to ensure his or her needs are addressed appropriately.
The legal challenge to the scheme – which was piloted in the Highlands – is being spearheaded by The Christian Institute, together with Christian Action Research and Education and the Family Education Trust.
Christian Institute director, Colin Hart, today described the move as “a monstrous invasion of family life” and said Highland parents would tell the Judicial Review about the adverse impact of the scheme on them and their families.
He said: “We are being told of horror stories where the state monitors have imposed their unwanted and unwarranted presence in the lives of families.
“Some parents have found themselves under the most awful and unjustified scrutiny based on the most innocuous scenarios.
“People who home-school their children and opt out of the system, people who do not have their children vaccinated, people whose children are suffering from certain conditions have all been subjected to the interference of the heavy and unsympathetic hand of the state.
“Some of these people have agreed to go to court and give their accounts of what they have been subjected to in the hope that the judiciary see this legislation for what it is.”
Meanwhile, academics, medical experts and social services professionals will address a “No To Named Persons Conference” in Edinburgh on Monday, which is expected to attract more than 150 delegates.
Objectors say the blanket nature of the named person provisions constitutes a “disproportionate and unjustified interference with the right to respect for an individual family’s right to a private and family life”.
And they believe MSPs are acting illegally and exceeding their powers by setting up the scheme, which they claim to be in direct contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights.
A Scottish Government spokesman said nothing in the legislation would change parental rights and responsibilities.