The "Wellbeing Surveys" are part of the SNP Government's Realigning Children's Services programme
The “Wellbeing Surveys” are part of the SNP Government's Realigning Children's Services programme and also ask youngsters in P5 to P7: "How often do you feel that your life is going well?"
They are also asked how often they brush their teeth, whether their parents have "bad fights" and if they have a garden to play in.
One question states: "How much do you worry about adults drinking too much alcohol at home?", while others probe for information about consumption of fruit, vegetables and fizzy drinks.
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My eight-year-old daughter came home from school with a form regarding a survey that they were taking in school about wellbeing
A secondary school questionnaire is also being carried out, asking pupils if they have been bullied for their accent, skin colour or sexual orientation, how often they eat “McDonalds, Burger King or KFC” and who lives with them at home.
The children – some as young as 11 – are also asked if they have ever taken any of a vast array of drugs, including speed, crystal meth, LSD, ecstasy, heroin, crack cocaine, methadone, ketamine or synthetic highs such as “Benzo Fury”, “M-Cat”, “Clockwork Orange” or “Black Mamba”.
A third survey is for parents and carers and probes personal issues such as how often their child has visited a GP or A&E over the past year, whether both parents live together and how often neighbours are asked to babysit.
One question asks how much the pupils worry about adults drinking too much at home
Mums and dads are even required to say whether they “dislike” their child, whether their child can be “sneaky or manipulative” and even if they are fit enough to climb stairs or push a vacuum cleaner.
Although the surveys are anonymous, the answers will be linked to individual identity numbers and shared across the public sector – a move which critics say breaches the Supreme Court ruling on “intrusive data sharing” under the Named Person scheme.
The surveys are voluntary although some parents in Falkirk and North Lanarkshire, the two areas where they are currently being carried out, claim the choice is not properly explained.
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They are also asked how often they brush their teeth
Patricia Vass, from Falkirk, said: “My eight-year-old daughter came home from school with a form regarding a survey that they were taking in school about wellbeing. There was a tear-off slip for parents to opt out within 10 days, but no date on the form, so no way of verifying the deadline.”
She said there were no links to the survey questions on the Realigning Children’s Services website, although they were eventually made available on Thursday following inquiries from the Scottish Sunday Express.
Ms Vass added: “I know from the Named Person court case that it was the data sharing element of the legislation that the Supreme Court ruled unlawful, and this survey is a fundamental part of that agenda.
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“Given the court ruling, I would have expected that this survey should be opt-in, not opt-out.”
Deborah Thomas, from Comrie in Perthshire, has spoken out against intrusive school surveys and was a member of the No 2 Named Persons campaign.
She said: "These questionnaires are being presented to children as a compulsory class activity, with only the boldest youngsters feeling able to hold out against their teachers.
Deborah Thomas has spoken out about intrusive school surveys
“Since the unique log-in is the pupil's candidate number, every child is identifiable until very late in the research cycle, leaving scope for the misuse of their personal data.”
The Scottish Government said the programme was not connected to the Named Person policy, although it is a part of the same Getting It Right For Every Child approach.
A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: “This survey isn’t compulsory and children/parents and carers can drop out at anytime, but it does allow them to tell us what their real needs are so we can deliver services that help them.
“We are just one of a number of local authorities taking part in the scheme across Scotland.”
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