Named Person is Not Safe when it comes to LGBTQA (plus anyone else the acronym currently misses out)
The discussion over Named Person has not been a clean reasoned well thought out debate. I’m the first to suspect the SNP of having ulterior motives but a lot of people who are in support of Named Person do so for genuine and often deep seated reasons. It’s hard not to question how many of those in support actually watched the Supreme Court case. Here it is for anyone who didn’t. The Scottish Government struggled to defend this policy at all.
SUPREME COURT - NAMED PERSON
Because the Christian Institute was the group who put up the largest amount of money in the court case, that has been jumped on in some quarters to suggest that those of us against Named Person are homophobic and want to control our children. In my case I object because I don’t want anyone controlling my children. I’m also wondering who thinks Ruth Davidson is homophobic? Although I am straight (I hate the term ciswoman) I am in a relationship with a transwoman.
My daughter is a lesbian. The closest she had to coming out moments were at about six commenting on my cousin’s wedding pictures that it was great two girls could do that because there were two pretty dresses and no yucky boys to kiss; at eight or nine she told me she thought she liked girls as well as boys and over the last four or five years she’s started talking about girls and boys are a thing of the past.
I absolutely agree that a child who is LGBTQA and is growing up in a hostile household needs an independent adult to talk to. There are Christian families that are not a hostile place for an LGBTQA child and there are irreligious SNP supporting families that are.
Closets are dark and they are suffocating. The LGBTQA rates of suicide are disgusting. This needs to change. I am absolutely for any method that helps.
But… I don’t think changing the role of a guidance teacher at school helps, and nor does naming some stranger at the council for home educated children. If the LGBTQA kids are not trusting their guidance teacher now then they won’t if that guidance teacher becomes a named person. There is also absolutely no guarantee that a named person is a safe person for LGBTQA children or that they are equipped to help a child in that position. And if the out pouring of hatred aimed at the Christian Institute by the people in authority and responsible for named person is anything to go by there is no guarantee that a Christian child would be safe with their new Named Person.
Surely some of that £60 million plus that Named Person has cost could have actually gone towards measures that really help LGBTQA children and people.
Encouraging LGBTQA staff members to come out fully in high schools and assuring them of a climate without fear would be a good place to start. Would they not be a good independent adult for a child to go to?
And maybe LGBTQA counsellors in every school and/or youth cafe would be a good idea. How many of them could £60 million have employed?
In terms of trans kids making grants available for the hormones and the other bits and bobs that made puberty less traumatic would go a long way to helping them.
LGBTQA are often badly bullied. Active anti-bullying policies in schools that are really enforced are also required across Scotland. As a home educator I am made aware on a daily basis just how many children in Scotland go to school in fear and are being failed by the person about to be made their named person.
I hope that the SNP consider what they are doing and if they really want to help LGBTQA children then they need to stop wasting money on a scheme that will do very little to help.
How do the SNP recover from abusing the trust of parents and children? The Supreme Court judgement really is a case of being caught with their knickers down and a spotlight is being thrown on the disgraceful behaviour of councils up and down Scotland.
They are now engaging in contempt of court and continuing with policies that have been ruled illegal.
Similar policies to GIRFEC/Named Person have been abandoned in the Isle of Man, New Zealand and the USA because children do not fit into boxes and trying to squeeze them into those boxes has caused more harm than good. It has also overwhelmed the services.
Is it a coincidence that the majority of the big abuse cases recently in Scotland have been in areas where Named Person is being trialled? Is it actually allowing people to get away with major neglect and abuse because the authorities are so worried about the small things.
When I was a new parent an experienced mother with nine children said to me;
“No parent is perfect. We all either neglect or abuse our children in minor ways and all we can do is pray that we don’t do anything that harms them in a major way.”
She’s right. No parent can do it all. The evidence I am getting it mostly right is in the three happy children I have. When asked how she would rate her childhood my daughter gave it 9 out of 10. She said influences outside of the family and out of our control accounted for the point docked. That to me is all the evidence I need. Unfortunately, social services seem to need more than happy well adjusted children as evidence for a reasonably healthy and happy childhood. When did child protection become about protecting the tick box and not the child?
They’ve taken data and misused it. Some like myself have been stupid enough to tick boxes and let our children sign forms. Some like myself have discovered that was a costly error. And some like myself are a great deal wiser than we were. You might think it could never happen to you, but it can. Being a good parent with well loved, happy children is no protection from the state in Scotland.
Agencies we should be able to trust have become untrustworthy. And that isn’t good for anyone especially those children who are vulnerable and do need people to stick up for them. It’s hard to protect those children in a society which is based on mutual mistrust. There are families who have been affected that don’t come forward and speak up because their time in the so called “care” or “watch” of local councils has rendered them fearful, scared and unable to speak up for themselves.
I’m an articulate woman, middle-aged, with a reasonable level of education. If I can be reduced to a gibbering wreck with no confidence what must this intervention do to someone with less personal resources to be able to deal with them? I’m not alone. I am certainly not an isolated incident. However, the culture of threats in child protection is unhealthy. So is the culture that sees two mouldy courgettes and not a box of vegetables. Searching for harm where there is no harm just creates barriers and abuse by the state in families where there is no other abuse.
My complaint to the council saw no problem in the way my family and myself were treated (although conclusions could be drawn by how quickly we were dropped by social services afterwards). If that is the case and the way my family was treated was within department guidelines, then the council policy is at fault and not the way individual representatives treated us. The responsibility lies with the heads of departments and the head of the council. And the Scottish Government, currently lead by the SNP, which oversees and allows the people of Scotland to be treated that way. Their policies of GIRFEC and Named Person have created this.
Again and gain individual stories are dismissed as “isolated incidents” but how many stories do there need to be before those “isolated incidents” add up to a big problem. Tomorrow I’m going to cover another “isolated incident”. If anyone would like their “isolated incident” to go on the blog please use the contact form. Everyone will be given a false name (I’m a writer I can’t promise it won’t be Blower Crinkletoes), and the only identifier will be the council area. Nothing will be printed without the people concerned agreeing to every word.
BOX TICKING HAS TO STOP! TRIANGLES AND CIRCLES ARE NO BETTER THAN SQUARES!
Could the SNP use the Named Person ruling by the supreme court to overhaul the way child protection functions in Scotland? If they really are the party they claim to be this would be a great time to show us doubters that they do put the human rights of the people of Scotland before their own political ends.
When it comes to children and families our current system of social work intervention picks and mixes when it comes to human rights. Unfortunately the essential life saving work done by social workers is balanced by the destruction caused to families who receive unnecessary intervention.
Last night the family and I were celebrating Mr Kimlin’s and my fourteenth wedding anniversary. We went for a picnic at our favourite view point and blew bubbles. We’d had bubbles at our wedding instead of confetti.
I brought up the headline quote by the Nestle chief about water not being a human right.
Banana Bug appeared confused and said “Huh.”
So I repeated the headline. And she looked more confused and said, “That makes no sense.”
Sometimes I think I’m doing a good job with these kids ;)
Having read more than his headline there are elements of what he said that I agree with.
The ECHR has given us a lot of rights and I’m sure most people have seen this:
]The Human Rights we have over data access are there for a reason and it is not for neither the Scottish Government nor Moray Council to decide which ones they choose to go with. It’s not a pick and mix deal. These aren’t cherry lips and cola bottles they are the rights we have to live our lives unmolested.
This family have been put through hell:
Chronically Ill Teen in Moray
Clare is one of the strongest people I've ever met. What has happened to her family is horrendous.
There was no real help available from politicians (anyone in this situation soon realises how true Yes Minister was and that those we elect have far less power over our every day life than unelected officials) in fact they continue to be ignored by some who should be helping and the council have ignored and whitewashed it (as usual in these cases). Its been a long period of hell that a family already dealing with chronic health issues don't need. My children's Named Person wasn't the guidance teacher but my children's Named person, the council's "inclusion officer", was a major antagonist in this story. I've put inclusion officer in quotes because my family and I didn't feel included in anything during that time. He also, unlike his exceptional predecessor, has a woeful lack of understanding of home education and has more than once made statements at odds with Scottish Government guidelines. Not least the several months spent trying to force my family to have a timetabled routine and "classes". I home educate my children I do not homeschool them. There's a big difference.
My own family, also in Moray has been put through a similar hell. When my fibromyalgia flared up on one occasion my husband also became ill (they were diagnosed with diabetes and anaemia).
Moray Council social work department has no real frame work for dealing with chronic illness whether that is the child or the parent. My fibromyalgia was regularly compared to me having an alcohol or drug problem by the department. All I can say is if they send me to rehab I promise to kick the pain and fatigue habit. There were concerns when they came in first… my family was struggling to cope and I had those same damn concerns myself. But the approach was not about helping my family it was pure and simple interference with professionals taking credit for something they hadn’t done.
My fibromyalgia and Mr Kimlin’s health issues had seen us in a mess before – we didn’t have social work on our back that time so when we came out of it the mess took about three weeks for us to straighten up and get back on our feet. With social work “help” it took over a year and a half. The issues went from being genuine to being about a crust under the sofa, me not vacuuming every day and a bathroom bin my boys had knocked over.
A computer without its case was declared unsafe. My husband is a computer technician with over ten years experience, they knew that, but they could not accept that there was nothing unsafe about the arrangement (well the kids might have hit their heads on it). If it had been unsafe we wouldn’t have left it like that.
Both Mr Kimlin and myself have our own areas of expertise and education but that was constantly brushed aside and ignored. By the end of it my confidence was destroyed and I was made to feel worthless. If a husband had treated me the way the social work had it would be classed as emotional abuse. A lady who didn't know me very well stopped me in the park and asked me what was wrong. She said: "I used to admire the way you dealt with your kids and you seem to be struggling now." I had gone from being a pretty good mum to a shouty, unhappy and miserable individual As a family we had stopped laughing.
Less serious than in Clare’s case, but along the same lines my son has a squint and my daughter got covered in either hives or bites. The opthamologist, orthoptist and my GP were happy with how I handled both situations. However, Moray Council were not. It was a constant battle that cost the NHS more money than it needed to spend. I do wonder with these people whether they realise that public money is not infinite so should be spent wisely.
If they are going to investigate every family who has the issues we were by the end they are going to be so busy that children genuinely in danger will get missed. As it is I think the department is a Baby P case waiting to happen because of their singular inability to listen to families.
Fault was found where there was no fault to be found. When my sons sat for over an hour at a table with an educational psychologist because that's what they did with me on a regular basis it was suggested they did that because they were starved of attention.
There was never any focus on the real issue which was two sick parents who needed help. We did eventually receive a family support worker but by that point we were getting back on our feet and whilst she was fabulous we didn’t need her any more.
All the departmern did was cost the tax payer money and waste their time which could have been spent helping a family which they had the resources to help. Although I am sure that my case files will say how much they achieved with our family.
The constant interference left my family damaged. It’s a damage that my older two children have not recovered from and there are times I still cry over the harm done to them. A social work investigation should not harm the children. We should be getting it right for ever child and the current approach across the UK today does not do that. It probably harms more children than it saves. That isn’t good for anyone because it creates a divide and because there are so many stories there are many people who would think twice before reporting concerns.
A later incident saw me “referred to the children’s panel” over ussanding the floors, two mouldy courgettes in a vegetable box and the fact my daughter had a panic attack when they were mentioned. There may have been more concerns but I refused to let them in the house. I placed referred to the children’s panel in quotes because I have the letter that said I had been referred and my health visitor was told I had been referred. However, after three months of worry (which covered two children’s birthdays) I phoned the reporter to the children’s panel only to be told they had never heard of me. But again the incident was typical. The work being done wasn't seen only the work undone and instead of seeing a vegetable box as evidence of a healthy diet the two mouldy ones (which I didn't by the way feed to the children) were focused on.
What happened to my family was very much degrading treatment. If the SNP claim to back the ECHR then a complete overhaul of the way Social Work and Education departments across Scotland respond to families who have a strong, decent basis but need help needs to change. Giving me a cleaner for a week to help me get straight would have achieved more and cost less. I should add that a lot of the promised help never arrived either.
Children and families are not boxes to be ticked. They are people who need to be listened to and yes sometimes those families need help. Moray Council and the Scottish Government don’t want to GIRFEC they want ECFAB (Every Child to Fit a Box) – children to fit neatly into those beautiful triangle and circular boxes they’ve designed. But every child and every family does not fit that model. Most families have love at their base and as long as there is no abuse they muddle through most calamities.
I am a rubbish poet but I wrote this about my time under the cosh of Moray Council:
Rifle through my drawers
nothing to her taste – too cheap for her
She blew her nose on them
then hung them on the line
Hoisted it on the roof.
Took a can of spray paint
and daubed my house
and my life
and my soul.
You don't deserve to parent.
You felt you were more important than my children
Your needs came first.
No I don’t feel.
You rendered me unable to feel.
Faced with rebellion
she brought out the threats
the heavy guns
To blow away my family.
But she did not succeed
5000 words of complaint
made the blood drain
headless chickens came out
like Tom Sawyer
Her mates whitewashed
We were dropped
unhelped but injured
to lick our own wounds
and repair their damage.
But that harm will always be
etched upon my children
their confidence knocked
their trust for authority damaged.
This Yes Minister Clip comes to mind:
We will probably never know how much this colossal policy failure has cost. The original estimated cost reported in the media was £44 million and later reports have been in excess of that.
Freedom of Information requests to Moray Council resulted in the response that they didn’t need to tell us. As members of the public we're not important enough to know what they do with the money we give them. Sometimes I think Moray Council officials forget where their wages come from. If the rest of us who do not work for them did not exist they wouldn't have their jobs. I’m sure other councils have given similar responses:
All this has happened during a background of cuts. Recent media reports that the schools children attend are poorly maintained and schools have been closed.
Libraries are closed. When I’d had an argument with my mother or needed time to myself as a teen the library was where I went to be safe and warm. I doubt I’m the only one to have used the service in that way.
The money spent on Named Person could have been ploughed into services for young people. They could have given vulnerable children safe, warm places to go and have fun. Places where they would build relationships with adults who they could confide in and get help from. Adults who had actually listened to them and knew them rather than adults with a clipboard and a box to tick.
Just because the SNP have changed the boxes they expect children to fit into to circular and triangular does not mean more children and families fit into them. It means some different vulnerable children will be picked up but others that would have been previously picked up will be lost to the system.
I was in foster care when I was fifteen due to a variety of crises in my life. My parents divorced when I was thirteen and I went from a nice middle class life to homeless in two years. (It really can happen to anyone)
My foster mother was a class A bitch, far worse than my alcoholic mother. Her methods of parenting were humiliation and degradation. There’s no way I’d have gone to my guidance teacher as I felt uneasy around him and didn’t know him very well. However, I did go to my wonderful social worker. She listened, was full of common sense and a real gem. For my birthday she bought me a copy of the L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks and a copy of Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. Both of which still mean a huge amount to me. I trusted her because she treated me as a person and not a box to tick. Now the big question is would I have trusted her as much if the conversations I had with her were not confidential? That I don’t know. I would not have wanted the guidance teacher to know.
At the end of 1992 I’d been sexually assaulted by a man. It was shortly after that I was placed in foster care and I didn’t want anyone else washing my underwear so I put it in a bag to wash them when I went to my mothers. My foster mother made a huge deal of it, including showing my dirty underwear to a man who the children’s panel had sent out (I’ve forgotten his title). I’d already been humiliated by the children’s panel over it. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted yet another male, my guidance teacher, to have been told.
It was suggested to my foster mother that if she couldn’t cope with a foster child whose biggest issue was she wanted to wash her own underwear and only washed her hair three times a week she would struggle if she got a child with really serious issues. I believe she became a childminder after that. All I have to say is the children she cared for have my utmost pity but at least they were able to go home at night.
In May the BBC, and The Press and Journal ran this story about Moray Council:
The Press and Journal
Cutting swimming pools and school crossing guards places children who are not vulnerable at real physical risk. Swimming is a valuable skill to learn. Not just to save lives but in terms of physical health.
Libraries are safe places for children to go after school to wait for parents etc Closing them places those children at risk.
Cutting maintenance at parks again puts children who aren’t at risk at risk.
So I am left wondering how much Named Person has cost my local council and is continuing to cost as they don’t seem to backing down from it? Because there is very real evidence that this scheme is causing cuts elsewhere across the council that could very well put my not at risk children at risk.
By wasting all this money on a scheme of interference and monitoring, the SNP have missed the opportunity to help many who are truly vulnerable in society, including children. This scheme wouldn’t have helped me back in 1992 and I’d have resented the sharing of my information.
Whilst the original of the conception of the scheme by New Labour may have been legitimate and benign, the scheme that the SNP realised has done nothing but cost a lot, invade people's rights and put non vulnerable children at greater risk than they have before. Even worse in the areas the scheme has been trialled there have been more than four deaths of children from abuse (Some have quoted up to seven). Of the major media cases since 2008 when the scheme began in the Highlands, most if not all have had Named Persons.
Scottish Lib-Dems, Labour and Conservative now oppose the scheme, but it doesn’t inspire confidence that in the past politicians of all parties have either voted yes or abstained from this legislation. Why did it sail through parliament when it was so bleeding obvious that it breached human rights? Even worse why were these democratically elected people not willing to stand up for the rights of children in Scotland? It should not have taken a group of concerned citizens to prove how poor, unpleasant and unworkable this policy is. It certainly should not have cost £300,000 to prove it illegal.
Scottish Labour still seem determined to focus on the issue of 16-18 year olds being included and they still want to blame those who fought the scheme for “misrepresenting” it. No the misrepresentation has been the majority of Scotland’s MSPs who have sold this scheme as benign and legitimate, and even after the Supreme Court ruling continue to do so.
The Scottish Greens are rapidly become mud browns in their dogged determination to back this. Why are they so far up Nicola Sturgeon’s backside over this?
These people are voted in to represent us in the political arena and it should have been their job to point out the illegality of it. That means they are supposed to stand up for our human rights. I am sure not one person puts a cross in a box with the intention of voting in a candidate who will strip their human rights. In voting through this legislation virtually unquestioned at the time these people have made a mockery of the people they are supposed represent.
For their salary, which is paid for by our taxes and is well above the average national wage in Scotland, the very least an MSP can do is read up on major pieces of legislation before they vote them through parliament.
When I spoke to my representative he appeared bewildered and more or less said it was not his area. Why are my children’s rights not his area? All this has shown is that the majority of MSPs across the board have no respect for the law and no respect for the rights of ordinary people.
Letting the Scottish Parliament take my rights and that of my children, letting them steal data from us, using the young and vulnerable to collect data for Lord knows what purpose– that’s not earning your salary, That’s stealing our tax money.
SNP that's not independence -- it's interference.
I hope that this article is an example of sloppy journalism and not what Moray Council intends to do. If this article is correct then the council is risking being in contempt of court and on the receiving end of law suits from children and parents.
As a home educator I am used to Moray Council's contempt for the law and Scottish Government guidelines but this takes it to a new level.
If Moray Council go ahead with this scheme unchanged and without acknowledging the Supreme Court's decision they show contempt for the human rights of everyone they are supposed to serve (and I mean serve not run over us like a Totalitarian regime)
The Supreme Court Judgement for anyone who wants to read it for themselves and make their own mind up.
Contrary to what local councils have been telling us the Supreme Court did not say that the scheme was legitimate and benign. They said that the original aims of the scheme were legitimate and benign. This tweet by the Children's and Young Person's commissioner explains that:
A certain Monty Python sketch comes to mind and should lighten the mood:
Because I want to be wrong! I want you to just be bloody incompetent because that wouldn’t be so scary.
I’ve tweaked Burns to fit the current situation:
But fit gold has been our bane
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
Here is the original and it’s well worth a read:
Such a Parcel O'Rogues In a Nation
In the space of only four years I’ve gone from someone who happily voted SNP to believing they could be worse than the Tories. Going by the last Scottish Parliament elections I’m not alone in believing that. The fact is in Scotland, whatever I think of her, we need Ruth Davidson in opposition to the SNP or the last thing we will get is any kind of independence. The Named Person scheme in its current form is something Theresa May can only admire – not even she’s had the neck to do something that Orwellian yet.
As a teenager I admired Margaret Ewing, the way she worked and cared. I admired the values she felt her party stood for. I have Fibromyalgia and her work for ME benefited me. It's sad that the mantel for that has been taken up not by her successors but by the Scottish Conservatives. She was a woman I wanted to be like. Winnie Ewing let me read the candidates handbook in 1992 and there was so much in there that I felt fired up about: the reduction in voting age, anti-nuclear weapons stance, the economic policies etc The thrust then was about bringing people up and increasing equality. Now it feels like the welfare state is being used to keep people in their place. At 40 I feel conned and let down, and yes bleeding furious. There's no way I would vote for independence when the ruling party can bring out a policy by Named Person and continue to push, not listen and who appear to have done a lot of backroom dealing to get it out. I want to be wrong. I don't want to believe we have a government who is for control in that nasty place where left means right.
Like Maggie Mellon (talker, writer, reader, womenforindy, allotmenteer, swimmer, campaigner, social worker), in this common space article: I am sad about the way the party has gone and think if they continue the way they’re going they will be no better than the Parcel o’Rogues that Robert Burns wrote about. The Named Person scheme has the potential to damage Scottish independence more than any pile of tempting gold. But with the valuable database they are gathering I can’t help but wonder how much gold is tempting this current Parcel o’ Rogues to sell out the Scottish People. At least in 1707 they knew who they were being sold to. Given how much the scheme is costing it must be a lot more this time round.
They are calling it a victory, ignoring the fact the most concerning aspect to most people has always been the data mining/sharing and not the idea that vulnerable children have a point of contact they can use when they choose. It's also not a bad idea that people have a central contact point but couldn't the current community care manager role be beefed up instead? For children who need to escape their parents wouldn't Youth Cafes, Counselling centres etc be better? All things that the money being spent on Named Person could be used for. Things that bring the little people up rather than managing them and interfering with our lives.
I’d have an easier time believing this was a benign enterprise badly executed by an incompetent government if:
The only way the SNP can recover, in my eyes, is to apologise, step back and order an independent inquiry into all the shenanigans that have gone on around Named Person with the possibility that there may be prosecutions brought against those who abused the human rights of the Scottish people.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to run a series of blog posts about Named Person. Although the Supreme Court ruled the data sharing element illegal (which makes the whole scheme toothless), the Scottish government are rabid in their attempts to get the Named Person back on track. I’ve too much information to fit into one blog entry as this one has already become a monster. All those contributing will be kept anonymous for a variety of reasons. You don’t have to believe their stories but I would recommend everyone in Scotland with a child finds out what their Named Person/Local Authority holds on them (yes you may already have a Named Person and your data may have been illegally shared). This is how to go about obtaining the personal data of both yourself and your child:
Unfortunately the right wing press I wouldn't usually touch with a barge pole were the only ones covering Named Person in any detail until recently.
I have to confess to being a hypocrite because I know my information isn’t good and I’m not sure I want to read it. I’m a home educator with Fibromyalgia. Both are big targets for my local authority which treats both my chosen lifestyle and medical condition with suspicion. During a complaints meeting the social worker taking down my issues compared, in front of a local councillor, my Fibromyalgia to an alcohol or drug addiction four times. All I can say is send me to rehab, baby, and I’ll kick the habit! All the time and money spent needlessly on my family could have gone into something that really helped abused children.
As a parent of three children under fourteen I find Scotland a concerning place to raise them. However, this is my home and has been for over twenty-five years. The beaches are wonderful, my husband has a good job and we have a decent lifestyle. I don’t want to uproot my children and I’d rather fight for their rights.
Disclaimers based on the accusations thrown at me most frequently by the proponents of the scheme:
As Tallulah on my Facebook page said much better than I could: When you are making assumptions about who pushed against the Named Person (data sharing aspect), remember that not all of us had the money to pursue legal means -- the legal action cost £300,000. Some of us could only lend moral support to those who had the means to do it. Don't make assumptions about all those who lent support because of the nature of the actual pursuers (Christian Institute and others). The force in support of the challenge was a very diverse bundle of people concerned about human rights and the spreading thinly of precious resources in child protection. I'm only saying this as I've been called a 'God botherer' and 'extreme Christian' who only wishes to 'own their children' and 'indoctrinate' them. Nothing could be further from my truth. People do like to make massive assumptions though.
And there is the nub of it. As I understand it in Scotland we cannot take out a class action lawsuit like they can in England. Being from Liverpool, I hope this issue is handled like Hillsborough but doesn’t take until my children are middle aged to yield similar results. We definitely need an independent public enquiry. Opening this up and asking questions may well provide us with a much better child protection system and more children saved. It may even find ways to reduce the suspicion in which the state is viewed.
Our younger generation are having a harder time than at any time previous. Houses are difficult and expensive to come by, higher education is an expense that my generation didn’t have and none of them are looking forward to a state pension. A child in abusive relationship with their parents has a very bleak outlook and a difficult time escaping well into adulthood.
With every other minority group we give them rights to protect them, so why are the SNP and the Scottish Greens so hell bent on removing the rights that children currently have?
Banana-Bug is a teenage girl. At present she can go to the doctors for help without even me being told, but if Named Person in its full intended version had gone ahead she would no longer have that privacy. That’s a right the Scottish Government wanted to take from her. Worse still if she goes on contraception a man she finds creepy and who went out of his way to destroy her confidence will now be told. Why does he even need to know if she gets pregnant? She should still have the right to refuse that information being shared with him.
Named persons were described as head gardeners over the parents. Well I think a child should have the right to sack any gardener working for them.
Think back to your own school days… all your guidance and head teachers.
We’ve all known of teachers even guidance and headteachers who were awful, who made us feel uncomfortable or who we plain didn’t get on with. Think of that teacher – would you want them knowing sensitive information about you that they had no right to know? I had a couple I wouldn’t want knowing if I went on the pill.
What about this woman:
That woman was being trained to tell your child that she was their confidante and that they didn’t have to tell Mummy and Daddy anything they discussed.
Parents need rights in place to protect their children from interference from the state because it has a track record in causing harm in many cases. It provides a check and balance just like when the state can take a child in danger from a parent.
The Scottish Government would have been better putting the millions they have ploughed into this scheme (not to mention the cost of a court case) into schemes that do help abused children. Give those children empowerment, increase their rights to move away from home and shelters they can just walk into, allow bullied children to just leave school with their parent’s support, give parents greater rights to speak up for their children against state interference…. Youth Cafes, children's clubs, breakfast clubs etc provide children safe environments to go and get food. Instead council cuts are having to be made to pay for a scheme that doesn’t work.
Isobel Gaudie, another one who would be surprised to be called a right-wing god-botherer, also from my Facebook page said:"The SNP needs to stop the arrogance and accept these plans were wrong. Until it does, nobody can trust this Scottish government any more to put the best interests of families before its own political ends."
Even if you don't home educate you never know when you might need that right for your child. A lot of parents who home educate did not start out thinking they needed it but they took their child out of school because that child didn't fit or was being harmed by the school system.
Home Education is something very dear to my heart. I discovered it was possible when I was bout 8 or 9 because my mum took my brother out of school for a few months. At that point I decided it was something I would do with my children. I didn't hate school but I was often isolated, often miserable and often bored. All three of my children are exactly what I hoped education at home would allow them to be.
It has in the UK (England, Wales and Scotland at least. I confess to being unsure about Northern Ireland/Isle of Man etc) always been the parent's responsibility to educate their children. It's not the states responsibility.
Of course there are bad examples of home education just like there are bad examples of traditionally educated children. By and large though children can thrive at home. A lack of state interference allows children to be treated and educated as individuals.
In the last few years there has been a major shift and home education has become a media and political punching bag. One home educated child in Scotland asked Nicola Sturgeon during the campaign for the Scottish elections, why the SNP talk loudly about protecting minorities whilst themselves picking on a small minority who home educate. She was promised an answer but I understand it didn't materialise.
There hasn't been a single major media case of a home educated child who has been harmed by abuse who hasn't been involved with a variety of agencies before serious harm has happened. They have all been failures by a variety of people and not home education.
By contrast one of the major reasons for home education, up until recently, was a child being harmed, neglected or not catered for at school. More recently there has been a surge in parents home educating from the start through choice but these parents are often ones who were failed by school in a variety of ways.
Even if you don't home educate, don't let that right to protect your child be taken away from you. The NSPCC aren't the only ones who can do studies and have opinions:
With every other abused or maltreated group in society we protect them by increasing their rights. I don't understand why our children scare the SNP so much they are constantly removing important rights from them.
The Kimlin Family