Child safety (NSPCC)

Schools should be providing all young people with a curriculum that equips them for adult life. I am encouraged that the UK Government has legislated to make Relationships and Sex Education mandatory for all secondary school aged children, and Relationships Education for all primary school aged children, so that pupils are taught the knowledge they will need to stay safe and develop healthy relationships.
 
Education in Scotland is devolved, so it is a responsibility of the Scottish Government at Holyrood. I would encourage the Scottish Government to adopt a comprehensive approach, and my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament are strong advocates in this area.
 
While the internet provides access to a world of new information and points of view, it also exposes young people to real harms. On top of protecting children from access to inappropriate material, steps should be taken to educate them about the dangers of the internet.
 
Earlier this year a UK-wide internet safety strategy was announced which aims to make the UK the safest place in the world for children and young people to go online. The UK Government is working with experts, social media companies, tech firms, charities and young people to produce a discussion paper.
 
Tackling all forms of abuse and exploitation of children by anyone must be a priority. I am concerned, however, that the Scottish Government has been distracted from taking effective steps by its 'named person' policy. In my view, the original proposals were an unacceptable intrusion into family life that would have diverted resources away from the most vulnerable children. That is why my colleagues in Holyrood have opposed this policy every step of the way.