The government’s plan for a database covering all children
and not just those at risk to be created could be made clearer in
the Children Bill, writes Amy
Sure Start minister Cathy Ashton said that she hoped to make the
‘universality’ of the database clearer on the face of
the Bill in a response to a letter from the Select Committee on the
The letter highlights that the intention is only made clear in the
explanatory notes accompanying the Bill rather than the Bill
itself. It states that ‘at the very least’ the plan
should have been ‘indicated expressly’ by the
Ashton said that the current drafting of the information databases
section of bill is intended to include all children.
If passed government amendments due to be debated in the House of
Lords next week in report stage will change the Bill to contain the
types of information that can be kept on each child.
The amendment lists information including a child’s name,
address, date of birth, and a specific number identifying them. It
also states that ‘information as to the existence of any
cause for concern’ in relation to the child should be
contained on the database together with the names and contact
details of professionals providing them with services.