Dee Thomas

Dee Thomas is a mother of four children 12 to 26 yrs,

Dee campaigned against Scottish Government in classtime child data collection surveys (Evidence2Success) dressed up to parents as an International child wellbeing initiative. On discovering in 2013 that her then 10 year old had been asked to complete a 69 question survey in class time online without her explicit consent, Dee investigated the background to what she and many others immediately recognised as a state intrusion into private family life. Dee has since campaigned for changes to be made to the survey, with some limited success, but remains concerned that a devolved Scottish government feels it has the right, without explicit parental consent to ask children as young as 9yrs questions about their own mental health (including suicide questions), their family finances and the severity of their family arguments. She was concerned that 14 yr olds were asked intimate questions regarding their own sexual activities, drug taking and criminal tendencies.

Along the way Dee discovered from the ICO that the survey data was in fact being collected to enable local Scottish councils to meet their obligations to the forthcoming “Named Person” provisions to be introduced into Scots Law in 2016. Dee is now an active participant in the No2NP campaign.

Dee also discovered an adaptation of Evidence2Success project is now extended into England in areas of poverty under the BIG Lottery Better Start project and she is challenging BIG to explain their stated plans to fund epigenetic testing (Buccal swabs /hair cuttings from small babies) only in areas of multiple deprivation. Dee feels ethically the “science” behind epigenetic testing is in itself very new, complex and unproven, that future implications of testing are as yet unknown and that asking young, often vulnerable pregnant women for consent to test their babies poses serious issues relating to the obtaining of freely given fully informed consent.

Related Sessions
Saturday 18 October 2014, 12.00 Pit Theatre

Goodbye Mr Chips: can research tell teachers how to teach?

"Some of the freest speech I have enjoyed in years."
Baroness Ruth Deech QC, crossbench peer; chairman, Bar Standards Board

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