Tymes Trust and the Scottish Home Education Forum are co-hostng an event to seek views on the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill which is currently before the Education & Skills Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

We are issuing a Call for Evidence in advance of our own Fringe Evidence Session, which will take place on Wednesday 15th November 2017, from 1pm to 3.30pm, at St Columba’s by the Castle Episcopal Church, 14 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW.
 
The Fringe Evidence Session will provide an opportunity for you to make your voice heard, especially if you feel your views have been sidelined or ignored up to now.
 
Our panel will include: Alison Preuss, Scottish Home Education Forum; Lesley Scott, Tymes Trust Scottish Officer; Dee Thomas, mother of four and NO2NP campaigner. Other panellists to be confirmed.
 
Oral evidence will be invited from those who have had first-hand experiences of named persons and data sharing on so-called ‘wellbeing’ grounds. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of the panel and share information about professionals’ practice.
 
We will ask the questions that the politicians will not. We will show the reality of named persons and the effects of ongoing, unlawful data processing for families across the country.
 
It is time for the truth about this policy that has been operating throughout Scotland for years without statutory footing, but being implemented as if it did at the behest of the Scottish Government.
 

At the end of the session we hope supporters will join us in walking down the High Street to deliver our evidence directly to the door of the Scottish Parliament. We are taking Education & Skills Convener, James Dornan MSP, at his word.

How to submit your evidence

  • Make your submission via the event website, or e mail your ‘evidence on a postcard’ to [email protected],  briefly outlining your experiences, thoughts and opinions (in no more than 330 words, or illustrations no bigger than A5) on the Information Sharing Bill and Named Person scheme. This can be done anonymously. Please submit your postcards by Monday 13th November so that they can be delivered to the Scottish Parliament at the end of the event on 15th. Please only give information that you are willing to be shared and seen by others.
  • Come along to our free Fringe Evidence Session on 15th Novemberand join in the discussion. You can reserve your place(s) on this page or by emailing [email protected] (numbers may be limited).
  • We plan to live-stream the event on YouTube for those who cannot attend in person and you can contribute comments on our event page and/or via Twitter using the hashtag #NPFringe

Context

The Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 19th June 2017 in an attempt to address the illegalities contained in Parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, as ruled by the UK Supreme Court on 28th July 2016.
 
The Bill seeks to respond to the UK Supreme Court ruling through amending Parts 4 and 5 of the Act by, specifically, replacing the duty to share information with a “duty to consider” sharing information in regards to the function of promoting, supporting or safeguarding the wellbeing of a child or young person.
 
Such considerations must be taken in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, any directly applicable EU Law and any other act with common law. But crucially there are no requirements to consider the implications of the General Data Protection Register (GDPR) which comes in to force in May next year.
 
The Bill seeks to give a power to share such information where it could promote the wellbeing of the child. Yet, despite the UK Supreme Court specifically recording that “Wellbeing is not defined”, the Bill does nothing to address this, leaving ‘wellbeing’, the concept upon which all of the actions and decisions of practitioners are based, undefined and open to subjective, arbitrary opinions and bias.
 
In accordance with the judgment from the UK Supreme Court, the Bill places a duty on Minsters to issue a Code of Practice for Named Persons on how they are to undertake the duty to consider whether information can be shared and how it can be shared. However, it is proposed by the Scottish Government that the Bill be passed by Parliament BEFORE the final Code of Practice is prepared.
 
Therefore any Code of Practice will be an instrument of government prepared and implemented without Parliamentary scrutiny or need for approval.