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( ) standards of conduct and practice in relation to social care workers, being standards expected of persons employing or seeking to employ them").

    Page 25, line 31, leave out subsection (5) and insert--

("(5) Local authorities making any decision about the conduct of any social care workers employed by them shall, if directed to do so by the Secretary of State, take into account any code published by the Council.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 61 [Qualifications gained outside a Council's area]:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved Amendments Nos. 79 to 85:

    Page 26, line 27, leave out from ("registration") to first ("the") in line 28 and insert ("as a social worker in").

    Page 26, line 34, leave out ("registration in that part of the register") and insert ("such registration").

    Page 26, line 40, leave out ("registration in that part") and insert ("such registration").

    Page 26, line 44, leave out from ("registration") to first ("the") in line 45 and insert ("as a social worker in").

    Page 27, line 6, leave out ("registration in that part of the register") and insert ("such registration").

    Page 27, line 12, leave out ("registration in that part") and insert ("such registration").

    Page 27, line 18, leave out from ("registration") to first ("the") in line 19 and insert ("as a social worker in").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 64 [Functions of the appropriate Minister]:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved Amendment No. 86:

    Page 28, line 42, leave out subsection (4) and insert--

("(4) Any functions of the Secretary of State under this section--
(a) may be delegated by him to the English Council; or
(b) may be exercised by any person, or by employees of any person, authorised to do so by the Secretary of State.
(4A) For the purpose of determining--
(a) the terms and effect of an authorisation under subsection (4)(b); and
(b) the effect of so much of any contract made between the Secretary of State and the authorised person as relates to the exercise of the function,
Part II of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 shall have effect as if the authorisation were given by virtue of an order under section 69 of that Act; and in subsection (4)(b) "employee" has the same meaning as in that Part.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Clause 65 [Appeals to the Tribunal]:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved Amendments Nos. 87 and 88:

    Page 29, line 4, after ("Part") insert ("in respect of registration").

    Page 29, leave out line 9.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 67 [Abolition of Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work]:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved Amendments Nos. 89 and 90:

    Page 29, line 26, at end insert ("under subsection (2A), or make any provision under subsection (2B), which She considers necessary or expedient in consequence of the functions of CCETSW referred to in subsection (1) ceasing, by virtue of that subsection, an Act of the Scottish Parliament or an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly, to be exercisable in relation to any part of the United Kingdom.

(2A) A scheme may provide--
( ) for the transfer to the new employer of any eligible employee;").

    Page 29, line 33, leave out subsections (3) to (5) and insert--

("(2B) The Order in Council may make--
(a) any supplementary, incidental or consequential provision,
(b) any transitory, transitional or saving provision,
including provision amending Schedule 3 to that Act or repealing that Schedule, section 10 of that Act and any reference in any enactment to CCETSW.
(2C) In this section--
"eligible employee" means a person who is employed under a contract of employment with the old employer;
"new employer" means--
(a) in relation to England or Wales, the Council;
(b) in relation to Scotland or Northern Ireland, any body established under a provision of the law of Scotland or (as the case may be) Northern Ireland which appears to Her Majesty to perform functions corresponding to those of a Council;
"old employer" means CCETSW;
"property" includes rights and interests of any description.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 69 [Amendment of Children Act 1989]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 91:

    Page 32, line 12, at end insert--

("( ) For the purposes of subsection (4)(b) a person is not treated as working on the premises in question if--
(a) none of his work is done in the part of the premises in which children are looked after; or
(b) he does not work on the premises at times when children are looked after there.").

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 91, tabled in the name of my noble friend Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 92 to 94 and Amendment No. 105, all of which seek to improve the provisions in Part V of the Bill, although I concede that they are minor amendments.

Under Part V, a daycare provider and his or her staff must be "suitable" to look after children. In addition, anyone else living or working on the premises must also be suitable to be around children.

28 Mar 2000 : Column 755

In practice, that means that such people must be the subject of police checks to ensure that unsuitable people are not allowed access to young children. This is only proper if the children's wellbeing is to be adequately safeguarded.

However, there will be instances when it is neither desirable nor practical to carry out checks on every single person working in a building, especially where very many of them will never be in contact with the children being looked after.

Let us suppose, by way of example, that the Palace of Westminster operated a creche--perhaps it should--for the children of its employees, it would be sensible to run checks on those working in the creche and on anyone else who might work in the area where the creche is provided. However, it would not be practical to require every one of the thousands of people working within the Palace boundaries to be subjected to a police check on their past behaviour. Nor would it make sense to require checks on people working in the creche area long after the children have left.

The amendment also dovetails with the Home Office's proposed protection of children provisions in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Bill, which prevent unsuitable adults from working with children. It is for those reasons that the Government wish to define more clearly which employees should and should not face investigation before a provider may be registered for daycare provision.

I turn to Amendments Nos. 92 to 94. As it stands, Part V requires emergency protection orders to be obtained from the Protection of Children Act Tribunal. On reflection, the Government consider that such orders should be obtained from the magistrates' courts, as is the case under the present regulatory system. The safety of every child is paramount and we want to respond quickly to protect all children when there is a risk they might come to some harm. Magistrates are in the best position to meet that need, being able to make emergency protection orders at any time of the day or night. For example, a childminder or daycare provider could be involved in untoward activities involving children. That might be revealed at a time when it would not be convenient to convene a tribunal at such short notice. However, an application may be made over the phone to a magistrate to ensure that immediate action is taken to protect any child in the care of the childminder or daycare provider.

Obviously, the House will want to ensure that children are protected at all times. To do that, we must continue to be rigorous and alert to child protection matters, particularly when they must be dealt with urgently.

Finally, I turn to Amendment No. 105. The Chief Inspector of Schools will be required to remove from the register of early years child care inspectors people he considers unsuitable. Similarly, he may also refuse an application for inclusion on the register from a person he has reason to consider unsuitable.

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Where a registered inspector or potential inspector is aggrieved by any such decision, he or she has a right of appeal against that decision. As drafted at present, Part V would require the appeal to be made to the Registered Nursery Education Inspectors Appeal Tribunal; a body which is convened only when an appeal is received and has no president or permanent members. Indeed, since its inception in 1996, it has heard only two appeals.

As there will be many more registered childcare inspectors than there are nursery education inspectors, it will be important to ensure that the tribunal which hears appeals has sufficient capacity to deal with any cases which are referred to it. For this reason, it is our intention that appeals by child care inspectors should be directed to the Protection of Children Act tribunal. This amendment secures that objective. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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