Education & Skills Committee revisit GIRFEC petition

The Education and Skills Committee revisited our joint petition on 27 November 2019. 

Excerpt from the Official Report:

Getting It Right For Every Child Policy (Human Rights) (PE1692)

The Convener: Agenda item 3 is consideration of PE1692 by Lesley Scott and Alison Preuss, on behalf of Tymes Trust and the Scottish home education forum, which calls for an inquiry into the human rights impact of the getting it right for every child policy and data processing. Paper 4 in the meeting papers outlines the history of the petition. We agreed to wait for the outcome of the work of
the GIRFEC practice development panel before giving the petition this second consideration. Paper 4 also lists several suggestions for further action.

I am conscious that the committee made a decision not to return to the petition until the outcome of the process around the named person legislation. As that legislation has fallen, we are still awaiting the publication of guidance by the Scottish Government, and it might be helpful to wait until that guidance is available before revisiting the petition. I suggest that we write to the Scottish Government for an update on progress.

Liz Smith: I think that there is a specific issue here, which is about the named person aspect, rather than any broad principle behind the GIRFEC policy. The issue is specific to the guidance that was issued to local authorities and to other public bodies about what would have been the implementation of the named person policy. Key sections of that have been withdrawn, so I think that it would be right and proper to wait for the Government to come back to us on the matter. It is absolutely essential that that guidance is reviewed, and I think that the main principle of what the petitioners are asking for is very much in line with that.

Rona Mackay: I broadly agree with that suggestion. I think that we should wait until we hear further from the Scottish Government.

The Convener: I think that we are all agreed.

We are concerned that Liz Smith believes that the petition is concerned specifically with the ‘named person’ when it is the overall GIRFEC policy implementation that has enabled, and continues to facilitate, the infringement of human rights. 


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