The Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee is seeking views on the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill.
The Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 19th June 2017.
Read the Bill and its accompanying documents.
The Bill makes provision for information sharing in respect of two aspects of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014; Part 4 of that Act which relates to the named person service and Part 5, which relates to child’s plans. The Bill has been introduced in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Christian Institute and others v. the Lord Advocate.
A SPICe briefing providing background on the Children and Young People Act 2014 and on the Supreme Court decision is available here.
The Bill amends both Parts 4 and 5 of the 2014 Act by, in particular, replacing various duties to share information with duties:
(a) to consider sharing information where the information would promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person;
(b) to consider whether the information could be shared in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, any directly applicable EU law, any other act and with common law; and
(c) a power to share that information where it could promote the wellbeing of the child.
For ease of reference, the Government has published a document which shows how the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act would look with the provisions in the Bill incorporated.
The Bill also places a duty on Ministers to issue a Code of Practice to those exercising functions under Parts 4 and 5 on how they are to go about considering whether information can be shared and how it can be shared.
The Committee is considering, at Stage 1, whether or not the Parliament should agree to the general principles of this Bill and, if so, what improvements could be made to its provisions. Written submissions are invited on these issues.
It is important to note that the Bill does not include provisions that enable Stage 1 scrutiny to revisit the overarching policies established in the Children and Young People Act 2014. Scrutiny is specifically focused on the proposed revised approach to information sharing in relation to the named person service and in relation to child’s plans.
Code of Practice
The Government consulted on a draft the Code of Practice. The Government has published an illustrative draft of the Code, available here.
The deadline for receipt of written submissions was 5pm on 25th August 2017 and therefore the call for written submissions is now closed.