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Thursday, 14 December 2017

MSPs scrap deadline for named person policy decision

Written by The Press Association

MSPs have agreed to remove a deadline for key legislation for the Scottish Government's controversial named person policy.

The unanimous decision scrapping the need for the first phase of Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill to be considered by Parliament by December 22, paves the way for a delay in the flagship policy.

The Bill was brought forward after a legal challenge to the named person policy - which will see a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, appointed to look out for the welfare of every child.

It aims to address the Supreme Court's finding last year that information-sharing provisions in the original legislation were incompatible with human-rights law and requires ministers to publish a code of practice for professionals on how information should be shared.

The parliamentary vote follows a majority of the MSPs on the Education Committee backing extending scrutiny of the Bill.

The committee refused to publish a report on general principles the Bill, required to enable the legislation to proceed to the next parliamentary stage, until ministers provide a draft code of practice instead of an illustrative version of it.

That draft code will not be available until September 2018 at the earliest, Education Secretary John Swinney has said.

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