Children across Scotland will be assigned their own so-called state guardian after tweaked legislation to introduce named persons laws was given the green light.

The Scottish Government said a bill published yesterday would clarify the rules about when workers such as teachers or health visitors, acting as named persons, could share information about a child. The changes will enable the delayed system to come into effect in 2018.

Last July the Supreme Court said the named persons plans, as set out under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, could be unlawful by intruding on the right to respect for private and family life.

The Government has always argued the ruling only applied to a small part of the policy and pledged to press ahead with the legal changes needed to make it work.

Changes announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney as a result of consultation with charities, public bodies and critics of the scheme will require named persons appointed by councils, health boards and other agencies to take into account human rights, data protection law and confidentiality rules before sharing information about a child.

The Government has also clarified that accepting advice from a named person is voluntary and a refusal to accept advice or services offered will not in itself be taken as evidence a child is at risk.

Mr Swinney claimed the changes would bring clarity to the rules and said the Supreme Court had been clear the policy in itself was “unquestionably legitimate and benign”.

“The Bill being published today will bring consistency, clarity and coherence to the practice of sharing information about children and young people’s wellbeing across Scotland,” he said.

“The new provisions require named person service providers and other responsible authorities to consider whether sharing information is likely to promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person.

“They must also then consider whether sharing that information would be compatible with data protection law, human rights law and the law of confidentiality. Only if information can be shared consistent with these legal constraints will there be a power to share it.”

However opponents of the policy accused Mr Swinney of an major U-turn last night. Simon Calvert of No To Named Persons, said: “The new proposals confirm one of the most remarkable, ignominious and expensive U-turns in the history of the Scottish Government

“They have now been forced to accept that their original draconian Big Brother proposals were an utter shambles from the start, representing an interference in family life and a fundamental breach of European human rights laws on privacy and information sharing.

“If they had only listened at the start they could have saved huge amounts of time and money. They now have to retrain those who have already been trained to implement an unlawful scheme.”

A financial memorandum attached to the new legislation suggests at least £1 million will be spent on providing cover in schools and health boards for staff needing additional training ahead of Named Persons laws coming into effect in 2018.

Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “The named person policy was a huge mistake from beginning to end, which is why the Government has been forced into a major U-turn.

“The Scottish Conservatives believe the revised bill still raises many questions and it also lays bare the extent of the expense to the taxpayer of this ill-conceived policy.”