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5 Nov 2008 : Column 581W—continued

Those persons or bodies required or permitted to supply information to ContactPoint must take reasonable steps to ensure the information is accurate; they already have obligations for data accuracy under the Data Protection Act 1998. If a local authority considers that there are inaccuracies or omitted information in a record
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for which it is responsible, the authority must also take reasonable steps to correct the inaccuracy or to complete the record.

In response to question 231719, regulation 4 (1) of the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 sets out that ContactPoint will contain information on all children in England up to their 18 birthday. There is provision (in regulation 4(2)) for certain young people who receive additional services—care leavers and those with learning disabilities—to remain on ContactPoint up to age 25 but only with their informed, explicit consent. This is to help facilitate the transition to adult services for those young people that may have multiple, additional needs. For the majority of children however, their record will be archived after their 18 birthday and remain there for six years, after which it will be permanently deleted.

Annex A

Persons or bodies permitted by a local authority to access ContactPoint


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Annex B

National Partners

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 704W, on children: databases, (1) if he will place a copy of the original circular sent by his Department's
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ContactPoint team in the Library; who authorised the sending of original circular; and to whom it was sent; [232461]

(2) what enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks are proposed for (a) professionals who can access ContactPoint and (b) in-house and contracted IT staff responsible for maintaining the ContactPoint system; [232463]

(3) which groups of people will be subject to additional security measures before their details may be accessed on ContactPoint; and what additional security arrangement will be put in place on ContactPoint for the details of children who are subject to the Witness Protection Scheme; [232464]

(4) what progress has been made with shielding arrangements for ContactPoint; and if he will make a statement. [232465]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 3 November 2008]: In answer to question 232461, the original circular is already in the public domain. However I have today placed in the Library a copy of this note, together with a copy of the covering email. Names have been redacted pending the outcome of standard disciplinary procedures regarding the precise circumstances of the note's release which has been commissioned by David Bell, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Children, Schools and Families. As Mr. Bell said in his letter of 24 October to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) (also in the Library), Ministers neither commissioned the note nor approved its release. The note was sent by officials to ContactPoint implementation co-ordinators; the covering email said that they might pass it on to implementation managers in local authorities.

In answer to question 232463, all access to ContactPoint will be strictly restricted to those staff who need it as part of their work. One of the conditions of access is that they must, as a minimum, have a current enhanced Criminal Records Bureau clearance which is renewable every three years. IT staff, whether in-house or contracted by the Department, who are responsible for maintaining the ContactPoint system will also be subject to the same standard of enhanced Criminal Records Bureau clearance.

In answer to question 232464, records of some children, whose circumstances may mean that they, or others, are at increased risk of harm (for example, those fleeing domestic violence), may be subject to ‘shielding’, whereby some of their details which could give an indication of their whereabouts will be hidden from users' view. The decision to shield will be taken on a case-by-case basis and will be based on the level of threat posed if their information becomes more widely available. Such a decision can only be undertaken by a local authority which is under a duty to consider the views of the person to whom the record relates, the views of their parent or carer, and of any schedule 4 or schedule 5 body (as specified by the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007), involved with the child or young person. This is not unique to ContactPoint and is already used in other systems, and is entirely consistent with the Data Protection Act.

The Department has been working closely with officials in the National Policing Improvement Agency with regards to shielding, specifically how to manage records of children and young people who are subject to witness protection.


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In answer to question 232465, local authorities are undertaking local analysis using the shielding assessment—a means by which they will report their progress to the ContactPoint national team on pre-deployment shielding preparations and action. Local authorities are currently engaging with local partners to ensure that those partners understand the shielding guidance and agree how their data can be securely transferred to ContactPoint. Thereafter, identified local authority staff will be trained how to shield records, and in January/February 2009 shielding of these records will commence.

Children: Protection

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children there are on the at risk register in Hampshire, broken down by reason for such registration. [231551]

Beverley Hughes: The number of children who were the subject of a child protection plan (on the child protection register) in Hampshire for the latest five years for which data are available is set out in the table. These figures are published on the website:

Children( 1) who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan: Years ending 31 March 2004 - 08
Hampshire Number

2004

425

2005

465

2006

460

2007

445

2008

465

(1) Includes unborn children.
Source:
CPR3

The data are broken down by age and gender and by category of abuse. For the year ending 31 March 2008 children who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan in Hampshire were broken down by category of abuse as follows:

Hampshire Number

All children(1)

465

Neglect

275

Physical abuse

75

Sexual abuse

45

Emotional abuse

65

Multiple/Not Recommended(2)

0

(1) Includes unborn children

(2) "Multiple" refers to instances where there is more than one category of abuse. These children are not counted under the other abuse headings, so a child can appear only once in this table. "Not recommended" refers to classificatory categories not recommended by 'Working Together'(1999)


For the year ending 31 March 2008 children who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan in Hampshire were broken down by age and gender as follows:


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Hampshire Number

All children(1)

465

Boys

250

Girls

210

Under 1 year

55

1-4 years

135

5-9 years

150

10-15 years

115

16 years and over

10

(1) Includes unborn children

Education

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he has taken since the publication of the White Paper, “Back on Track”, in May 2008 on transforming the quality of alternative educational provision for those pupils who are unable to attend mainstream or special schools. [231386]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: On 23 October, the Secretary of State announced a package of measures based on the proposals set out in “Back on Track”.

These have all been placed on the Department’s internet site and can be found at the following page:

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will list the programmes and corresponding allocations aggregated as Other Miscellaneous Programmes for the year 2008-09 in the Schools section of Table 8.3 of his Department's 2008 annual report. [233087]

Ed Balls: Table 1 lists the schools programmes aggregated under the "Other Miscellaneous'' title and their corresponding projected allocations for 2008-09, as shown in the 2008 Departmental Annual Report.


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