MPs concerned about children’s database

MPs have pressed senior government officials for assurances that
the children’s database outlined in the Children Act 2004
will not be a costly and complex mess, writes Sally

Tom Jeffrey

The director general of children and young people at the DFES
came under pressure at a meeting of the education and skills
committee today.

Tom Jeffrey, who gave evidence to the committee, which is
looking at the changes set out in ‘Every Child Matters’
said he “completely understood” the concerns. But he
added that professionals involved in the 10 ISA trailblazers had
given a “positive account” of their experience of such
an IT system.

However, MPs remained concerned that the database would not
increase protection of children. Instead they feared it would join
the list of other government-established IT systems, such as the
Criminal Records Bureau, that had a “less than
distinguished” track record.

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