The coalition government has promised to scale back regulation and inspection within children’s services.
The promise is contained within the full document of negotiated policies, released today, which the government has promised to implement as soon as it can after its plans to tackle the budget deficit have been achieved.
The document states the government will “cut local government inspection and abolish the Comprehensive Area Assessment”.
The CAA, which has only been in place for less than a year, has been controversial amongst children’s services for the amount of extra time it takes up, on top of Ofsted inspections.
Although there was no mention of Ofsted’s role within children’s services, within education the government has also promised to simplify regulation of standards and to target inspection on areas of failure.
Councils will have much greater autonomy over budgets and the government office for London has been abolished. The coalition will also look at abolishing other regional government offices.
The document was vague on some of the biggest issues facing children’s services, such as rising referrals and has only committed itself to “investigate a new approach to helping families with multiple problems”.
Other policies include:
• publishing serious case reviews in full, with identifying details removed
• scaling back the vetting and barring scheme
• scaling Sure Start centres back to focus on early intervention for the families with the most need, with providers paid by results.
• a pupil premium for the most disadvantaged children
• improve diagnostic assessment for special needs children and prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools
• tackle human trafficking as a priority
• paying independent providers to reduce reoffending and setting up neighbourhood justice panels
• national citizen service for all 16-year-olds
• national day to celebrate and encourage social action
• help frontline workers run their own social enterprises in delivering public services
The coalition government has also committed itself to some commitments put in place by the previous government such as the comprehensive review of family law, and ending child poverty by 2020.
Earlier this week the government also announced it would scrap Contactpoint, the controversial children’s database, and is committed to ending the detention of child asylum seekers as soon as possible.