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Scottish government scraps named person scheme - what next?

The controversial named person scheme, designed to ensure that every child in Scotland had a clear point of contact from birth until the age of 18, has sensationally been scrapped by the Scottish government.

Education Secretary John Swinney made the surprise announcement today, telling parliament that the "mandatory named persons scheme for every child, underpinned by law, will now not happen. We will withdraw our Bill and repeal the relevant legislation."

While the proposals have met with many difficulties, the surprise is not only that the government has climbed down - but that the climbdown is so complete. There will be no further attempts to revisit the legislation: it is being abandoned entirely.

In a classic example of the road to political embarrassment being paved with good intentions, part of the Scottish government's difficulty was a dismissive attitude towards the scheme's critics. Of course, it was always easy to characterise the Christian Institute, one of …

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