Children: Social Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 15 September 2023.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of Birmingham Council issuing a Section 114 notice on children’s social (a) care and (b) services in Birmingham.

Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Independent, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that (a) children's safeguarding, (b) social care and (c) other essential services continue in Birmingham.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Councils are responsible for their own finances and the decision to issue a Section 114 notice is one taken locally. The issuing of a notice means the council is subject to a 21-day spending prohibition during which the council may not enter into any new spending agreement without approval by the Chief Financial Officer.

Birmingham City Council are tightening their current financial controls, and a framework will be set in place to ensure they have a complete grip, whilst ensuring that statutory and key services to children and vulnerable people are not affected because of these controls.

The Department for Education, along with colleagues from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the SEND Commissioner remain in regular contact with Birmingham City Council and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

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