Tracking pilots given extra time

Identification, referral and tracking pilot projects have welcomed
the government’s decision to extend their deadline for improving
information-sharing practices by six months to September

Project manager for Telford and Wrekin IRT pilot Sara Tough said:
“We have been lobbying for an extension to the project because,
although we are well ahead in our work, we wanted more time to
evaluate our pilot in the interest of sustainability and the future
roll-out nationally.”

Andrew Bunyan, service director for children and families at
Leicester Council and chairperson of the Leicester, Leicestershire
and Rutland project partnership group, welcomed the extra time but
said the full financial year would have been preferable.

However, a Department for Education and Skills spokesperson said
all councils still had to reach a March 2004 minimum requirement
deadline to “improve communication and information sharing between
education, social care and health”, as outlined in guidance from
the children and young people’s unit.

Legal concerns about information sharing have led to the suspension
of plans in some pilot areas. New legislation to aid information
sharing is expected to be included in a children’s services bill in
the Queen’s Speech later this month.

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