EDUCATION secretary John Swinney has rejected MSPs' calls for new guidance about the operation of the controversial Named Person scheme, but pledged to listen to concerns raised by a key Holyrood committee.

In response to a Supreme Court ruling that the scheme was unlawful, the Scottish Government introduced a new law designed to clarify the rules on sharing information about children, including legally binding guidelines which will only be published after the law is passed.

MSPs on the Education Committee wrote to the minister last week asking for an updated version of this code of practise – which will advise anyone appointed as a named person about when they can share information and seeking consent.

Convener James Dornan MSP said the "illustrative" code published alongside the Children and Young People (information sharing) bill was insufficient to allow the committee to scrutinise the bill.

"Without a Code of Practice that is... largely reflective of the likely contents of the final Code, the Committee is not in a position to analyse how the Bill will operate in practice," he wrote.

But in a letter to the committee Mr Swinney said it was currently impossible to do more. "I took the decision to publish an illustrative draft code of practise to be helpful to the committee in its consideration of the bill," he said. "It is intended to be an illustration only".

The education secretary said the impact of the UK Government's new data protection bill, and any changes suggested by Parliament to the Information sharing bill meant the code was still subject to change.

However he insisted the committee and all MSPs would have a chance to influence the guidelines as well as the bill itself. "I will of course continue to listen very carefully to all the comments expressed by parliament and others in relation to the powers and procedure set out in the bill," he said. "The bill is still at an early stage."

Mr Dornan has now written back demanding Mr Swinney appear before the committee again. A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “The Committee considered the letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. The Committee agreed to invite the Convener and Deputy Convener to discuss further with the Cabinet Secretary the issues raised in the Committee's letter.”

The Education committee has heard evidence from social workers, lawyers and teachers representatives, as part of its consideration of the information-sharing legislation the minister hopes will "fix" the named person policy.

Yesterday witnesses heard confusion over the code of practice could make teachers and health visitors more "defensive" about sharing information about children.

Jackie Niccolls, of the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, told MSPs staff need "robust guidance" and reassurance that they are not going to be personally liable if they share or do not share information.

Jenni Brown, principal teacher of pupil support within Dumfries and Galloway Council said guidance could not be complicated. "It has to be something that is straight-forward, quick flow-chart type information, otherwise staff will not use it. They won't have the time."