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    Call off the GIRFEC engagement to stop unwanted SHANARRI advances

    1st April 2014 | Home Ed in the News | Law & Policy | Schoolhouse

    According to the Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell, whom we quote verbatim, “the parent is under no obligation to engage with the named person or the service offered” when it comes to dealing with the SHANARRI army of box ticking state guardians who have been parachuted, uninvited, into the lives of every family in Scotland.


    These data gathering drones are tasked to ensure, by fair means or foul, that every child in Scotland has every life, including pre-life, event and activity recorded by every ‘professional’ with whom they have contact, details of which may be accessed by any other so-called service if and when they are deemed to be at risk of failing to meet state defined ‘wellbeing’ outcomes. SHANARRI knows best and must be obeyed, having overridden the inconvenient consent threshold that used to offer a degree of protection. Abuse of power comes directly to mind.


    As we have already seen, every child in Scotland is now ‘at risk’ according to the government (do follow that hyperlink as it is a shocker) and readers may be surprised to learn that we agree wholeheartedly with the universality of the risk to every child, citizen and community (aye, we’re all at risk, folks, and in need of nudging towards our state dictated outcomes) albeit from a different standpoint. In our view, the greatest risk comes directly from the government’s insane (for there is no other word) obsession with the covert collecting, recording and non consensual sharing of every bit of personal data on  every child (and associated adult), riding roughshod over data protection and breaching fundamental human rights (unless, as in the case of the controversial ContactPoint, his or her family is wealthy, famous or important enough to be exempted from the risks of  data theft by illegal hackers and snooper employees who may decide to flog it to the highest bidder). Making the already vulnerable more vulnerable appears to matter not a jot in the government’s game of Grand Theft Data which pales Candy Crush Saga into amateurish insignificance.

    Taking Aileen at her word (and she does keep repeating herself), we thought we should arm parents (and young people with capacity) with a convenient means of officially calling off the engagement and refusing unwanted advances by state sponsored Nosy Parkers, SHANARRI worshippers and all the various pushy authoritarian types who not only believe they know best for everyone else, but also misunderstand the true meaning of NO.


    The following template letter may be edited to suit and should either be sent by recorded delivery or a receipt obtained if it is hand delivered. If you are in any doubt as to the recipients’ compliance with your instructions, it would be advisable to follow up with  a subject access request using the ICO’s template letter. If they don’t comply, we are sure Aileen will want to hear from you and we would ‘also’ be interested. As with all letters, please remember to send by recorded delivery just in case they go missing like the apparently non existent Highland GIRFEC complaints, such as this one and others we have seen.



    Dear Named Person / Service Provider


    I refer you to the following statement by the Children’s Minister on behalf of the Scottish Government, which makes it clear that there is no requirement for me to engage with you or the service(s) you are offering:


    “Professionals and parents may identify where concerns about a child’s wellbeing are emerging and the named person can offer initial help, but the parent is under no obligation to engage with the named person or the service offered.” (Aileen Campbell, 12/02/14)


    Please note that I am hereby withholding/withdrawing consent for you to record or share any information about me without my explicit written authority and that I do not wish to avail myself of your services.


    I am further withholding/withdrawing consent for you to record or share information about my minor child(ren) without my explicit written authority:


    [insert names/dob of children]


    Should I require your services in the future for myself or any other member of my family, I will contact you and expect you to offer such services in accordance with my wishes and requirements.


    Please ensure that this letter is attached to any records you may already hold on me and those of any other members of my family.


    Please also acknowledge receipt of this request in writing and note that one or more subject access requests may be submitted under the Data Protection Act to ensure that my instructions have been followed.


    I thank you in anticipation of your compliance.


    Yours sincerely





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    1. Kate says:

      I would like to ask how does it look like in practice?

      As the Minister said: “…he parent is under no obligation to engage with the named person or the service offered.”

      It looks like I don’t have to engage with the named person or the service offered, but it doesn’t say, that my child would automaticly do not have the named person anymore.

      So, is it mean, that my child will have named person, who can decide about my child’s future and life?

      I am in the situation where my son have named person, I had meeting with this person already, and they created plan for my son, and offered help which I do not need, as I can manage to take care of it by myself, as it’s not a big issue.
      I am concern about the shool of collecting my data and details about my family members and my child.
      I wanted to change the school for my son, as I think that one he attend at the moment is not good enough. I was informed that this is not a problem, but ‘all my details’ are going to be send to new school my son’s attend and that programm is going to be continue by the ‘new named person’.

      Is there any possibility to quit this program?
      I would like to live my normal life again, without feeling of being in hidden cameras.
      My son said many times as he feels like he is observed at school like by CCTV cameras.

      I have really enough of this, but I need to be smart before I do any official move and refuse them the ‘help’ they ‘offered’ to me.

      Please, if anyone can help me, and advise me what to do, and what is best for my child now. What is the safest option in this situation?



    2. William says:

      Here’s an interesting story that may become relevant to GIRFEC.

      “The Court takes the view that, by requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data. Furthermore, the fact that data are retained and subsequently used without the subscriber or registered user being informed is likely to generate in the persons concerned a feeling that their private lives are the subject of constant surveillance.”

    3. alisonp says:

      Thank you for the link, William.