New Clause 11

Part of Children and Young Persons Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 3rd July 2008.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children) 1:00 pm, 3rd July 2008

I cannot remember where I had got to before lunch, but perhaps I can finish off by saying that the aim of this probing amendment is to tease out a bit more information than was teased out by the amendment that my noble Friend Baroness Morris of Bolton tabled in the House of Lords. We want to ensure that inspections of residential children’s homes are meaningful and not just inspections of the accommodation’s physical suitability. We want to broaden the scope of what is taken into account, so that consideration can be given to the promotion of the child’s welfare and safety.

Much earlier in our proceedings, I gave the example of a children’s home in my constituency. It was a nice converted farmhouse in the middle of the rolling downs of Sussex, but the children were running amok, and their welfare was clearly not being catered for. However, that did not necessarily come out in the Ofsted inspection report, and the new clause is intended to probe such issues. There is no statutory duty to consider the real aim of children’s homes—to promote children’s well-being—and such a duty should be included in the Bill.