Clause 50

– in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 17th March 2009.

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Detention of child or young person: local education authority to be notified

Question proposed,That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government new clause 18—Detention of child or young person: local education authorities to be notified.

Photo of Sarah McCarthy-Fry Sarah McCarthy-Fry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families

New clause 18 inserts new section 39A into the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to require youth offending teams in England and Wales to notify a child or young person’s home and host local education authority when they become aware that that person has been detained in or transferred or released from relevant youth accommodation. The new clause replaces clause 50, which is omitted by amendment 345, and extends that clause’s requirements.

Clause 50 currently requires youth offending teams to notify the home LEA when they become aware that a child or young person has become subject to a detention order and has been detained in relevant youth accommodation. New clause 18 reinserts that requirement and extends it to require youth offending teams also to notify the host LEA in the area in which that person has been detained. The new clause also requires youth offending teams to notify LEAs as soon as they become aware that a person has been transferred between juvenile custodial establishments or is released from relevant youth accommodation.

The new clause will ensure that home and host LEAs always know when a child or young person moves into, within, and out of the juvenile custodial estate. It will also ensure that they know where the person is detained, and will help LEAs fulfil their new duties under new chapter 5A of the Education Act 1996. Furthermore, the new clause will help to ensure that suitable education  is arranged for such children and young people while they are detained in juvenile custody, as well as upon their release.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Education)

The new clause ensures that youth offending teams share and exchange information with host, as well as home, authorities, which goes some way towards dealing with the concerns that we raised a few moments ago. As such, that is a step in the right direction, but I re-emphasise that we are most concerned that the right mechanism be put in place to exchange information. That would require a considerable investment in terms of databases, protocols and so on. Given the doubts that have already been expressed about whether the Connexions database is fit for the additional purposes for which it is now intended, I remain unconvinced that systems are in place to ensure that the issue is appropriately dealt with.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 50 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.