SCOTLAND'S Children and Young People’s Commissioner has called for the pausing of  a controversial government census  that asks school kids if they’ve had anal sex over human rights concerns.

Bruce Adamson is worried that the Health and Wellbeing Census, which asks young adults about their experience of drug use, alcohol consumption and sex, did not respect a pupil’s right to privacy.

His comments come after the Herald and the Herald on Sunday revealed that eight local authorities were refusing to take part in the census and that privacy details showed that the anonymous survey was not actually confidential at all.

He said : “Any survey conducted in schools needs to be administered using an approach that respects young people’s rights including their right to privacy and right to give informed consent.

"We are concerned that the survey collects the pupil’s Scottish Candidate Number and young people need to be made aware that this may allow them to be identified.

“Young people should have their rights clearly communicated to them in advance, including the key information that their participation is not compulsory. Young people and their families need to be involved in the design and delivery of such information gathering.

"It is important that teachers know how to manage any issues that may arise as a result of wellbeing questions being asked in school.

“A number of local authorities have also raised concerns which calls into question the effectiveness of this method of processing the survey. The Scottish Government should pause the rolling out of this survey until it can address the concerns raised and ensure a rights compliant process.”

Earlier the First Minister refused to say whether she would answer a controversial school pupils' census where children are asked "intrusive" questions about sex.

She insisted 24 out of Scotland's 32 local authorities have confirmed they will take part in the survey and said it was being used for "statistical and research purposes only".

Parents have raised questions about the content of the government's Health and Wellbeing Census, which asks pupils as young as 14 intimate questions on their sexual activity.

While eight of  Scotland's 32 local authorities have refused to take part in the census a further 13 are reviewing its contents and another one, City of Edinburgh Council, is distributing it excluding questions "that we felt would present difficulties".

The Scottish Government-sanctioned census asks questions only meant to be filled out by children as young as 14 about their sexual experiences.

One question - aimed at pupils in S4 and S6 - says: “People have varying degrees of sexual experience. How much, if any, sexual experience have you had?”

Multiple choice answers include “oral sex” and “vaginal or anal sex”.

It also asks how many people they have had sexual intercourse with in the past 12 months.

The Herald on Sunday revealed that only the census is not totally confidential.

If local authority analysts see any answers of concern they can take action to help kids concerned and the identity of the children will be sought.

Privacy information attached states: "If analysts within your local authority see anything in the answers provided by some children and young people that raises some concerns, they may need to do something to help these individuals.

"This would be the only time that the identity of individual children and young people would be sought by identifying these individuals from a separate database that holds the names of children and young people together with their Scottish Candidate Number, and for which the local authority also has access too.

"This should not happen very often so it is highly unlikely that anyone will contact children, young people or their families."

The census is to be given to kids in P5, 6 and 7 but the younger groups' questions are targeted on matters such as physical activity, mental health, sleep patterns, social media, body image, and bullying. It also quizzes them on how easy it is to talk to family members about things that bother them and whether their parents really care about their education.

The eight councils that have refused to participate are West Lothian Council, Falkirk, East Lothian, Midlothian, Aberdeenshire, North Lanarkshire, Aberdeen and Highland.

The 13 councils that have said they are reviewing its content are Orkney, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, Shetland, Fife, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Scottish Borders, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The ten local authorities that are distributing the census are Glasgow City, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, Angus, South Ayrshire, Moray, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Dumfries and Galloway and Renfrewshire.

City of Edinburgh Council is distributing it having excluded questions "that we felt would present difficulties".