Moray’s Named Person scheme comes under renewed fire

Council under fire over treatment of Speyside High School pupil.
Council under fire over treatment of Speyside High School pupil.

MORAY’S APPLICATION OF the much-criticised named person scheme has come under serious attack from parents who were reported to child protection – because the child had been off school sick.

In an explosive report in the Sunday Express, the family hit out at the way they were treated – calling the actions of officials “vindictive and cruel”.

Moray Council have followed Scottish Government advice in continuing their named person scheme, which allocates a suitable person – usually a teacher – to each child, monitoring their progress and taking action should they believe it is required.

Following a Supreme Court ruling against aspects of the new law, the Scottish Government have paused their legislation – but advised Scottish councils, including Moray, that the current rules are legal and so they should continue.

Clare Gilchrist, who is from Rothes, spoke out over the case of her 14-year-old son Ciaran, who struggles to eat and can be sick several times each day because of food allergies. It was when he missed classes at Speyside High School because of this that his named person, a guidance teacher at the school, referred the family to the children’s reporter.

Mrs Gilchrist told the newspaper: “Ciaran ended up hospitalised because of his named person.

“Last summer was destroyed completely for us, and more importantly our son and daughter [Rebecca], who worried themselves silly after receiving letters from the reporter although they had done nothing wrong.

“It was vindictive and cruel, especially as Rebecca was still at primary school with no issues whatsoever. How can a named person have that much power?  They please themselves what they do and have secret little meetings you know nothing about behind your back – we only know because our GP told us.”

A Moray Council spokesman is reported to have told the newspaper that the council were perfectly within the law.  He said: “We will not be adopting the information-sharing protocols in the 2014 Act, but will still conform to the Information Commissioner’s ruling.

“The council has always complied with statute [the Data Protection Act] and no information-sharing has taken place in Moray out with current law.”