EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
181. The following potential issues were considered:
- Whether Article 2 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights was violated by the requirement for all registered early years providers (and schools which are not required to register) to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (the EYFS) (clauses 39 to 47). However, the flexibility of the EYFS coupled with the power to exempt providers and children is considered to allow for children to be educated in accordance with their parents' philosophies and beliefs.
- Whether the powers enabling a person authorised by the Chief Inspector to enter premises which he suspects may be being used to provide childcare in contravention of the requirements to register (clause 76(1)) violated article 8. This power pursues a legitimate aim of protecting children and only applies in respect of those who care for children under 8 and may only be used where there are reasonable grounds for believing that care is being provided in contravention of the registration requirements.
- Whether powers of the Chief Inspector to cancel registration and the regulation-making power to prescribe when a person may be disqualified from registration engage article 6 and article 1 of the First Protocol. Again, these powers are considered necessary in the aim of protecting of children and the Chief Inspector's decisions, including decisions as to whether disqualification should be waived, will be subject to appeal to the Tribunal established under the Protection of Children Act 1999.
182. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of the Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement about compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). This statement has to be made before second reading. Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Education and Skills has made the following statement:
- "In my view, the provisions of the Childcare Bill are compatible with the Convention rights."