Database clause on Children Bill fails

Opposition MPs failed last week to have more details included in
the Children Bill about the workings of the proposed information
databases on all children.

As the bill was debated at committee stage, Liberal Democrat MP
Annette Brooke said there were “still too many questions and not
enough answers” about the databases.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton added: “We are being asked to sign a
blank cheque without even seeing the consultation details, let
alone the proposal that the government intends to put forward as a
result of that consultation.”

A consultation document containing stakeholders’ views on how
practitioners working in “sensitive” services should record their
involvement with a child on the databases is due to be published by
the government this week.

Further attempts to place a duty on schools to co-operate with
other services and to safeguard and promote children’s well-being
were also dismissed by Stephen Ladyman.

The social care minister said it was not possible to create an
“exhaustive list of the people and partners who must try to work
togetherÉbecause we will always forget somebody”. He preferred
trying to create “a network of support for all partners through the
inspection and other improvement processes that are in

The bill will complete its remaining stages next week.

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