The government today proposed to introduce legislation in the next year to ensure failing youth offending teams improve, open up the family courts to the media and introduce a registration scheme for home educated children.
Outlining its final legislative programme before the next election, it proposed an Improving Schools and Safeguarding Children Bill, which would:-
- Introduce powers to intervene where Yots are failing and putting young people or their communities at risk.
- Clarify the role of Ofsted and other inspectorates in inspecting local safeguarding children boards and enable information sharing on LSCBs.
- Improve monitoring arrangements for children educated at home, implementing the recommendations of Graham Badman’s recent review on the issue, including the introduction of a compulsory registration scheme.
- Put in place a framework to enable the media to report the substance of family court proceedings while protecting the identities of families, by clarifying reporting restrictions. Since April, the media have been allowed into family proceedings but can only report cases with the permission of judges.
Action on antisocial behaviour and violence against women
Other proposed bills in the draft Queen’s Speech include a Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill, including measures to tackle antisocial behaviour, violence against women and sex offending:
- A parenting assessment would be carried out on parents of children aged 10 to 15 who are considered for an antisocial behaviour order.
- Police would be empowered to compel sexual and violent offenders who have been convicted and imprisoned abroad to provide a DNA sample on their return to the UK.
- Consideration will be given to introducing legislative proposals on the back of the recent consultation on Violence Against Women and Girls. Among other issues, this examined the sexualisation of young girls.
Building Britain’s Future
Meanwhile, the government issued a policy document, Building Britain’s Future, outlining its policy agenda for the period up to the general election and beyond.
Alluding to the forthcoming green paper on the future funding of adult social care, it said it would “help to end the unfair postcode lotteries that currently exist for those needing long-term care services or support with disabilities”.
This suggests proposals will be brought forward to introduce a system of national eligibility for care users in England, ending the local discretion afforded councils.
Expert guide to the adult social care green paper