The Children and Families Bill introduces a wide range of legislation concerning adoption and children in care, aspects of family justice law, special educational needs, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, child care, statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters, time off work for ante-natal care, and the right to request flexible working. This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.
The Bill has three parts. Part 1 deals with transparency and accountability in connection with cases concerning children and proceedings in the Court of Protection. Part 2 contains other provisions relating to the administration of justice; and Part 3 deals with the cost of living and measures to achieve lower fuel bills.
A number of MPs have contacted the Library concerning an e-mail that constituents have forwarded alleging abuse of the fostering system in order to benefit from the allowances available. The e-mail in question is not based in fact, and is a hoax. This short note explains the many errors in the “Breadwinner” email, and notes that an almost identical US version is also in circulation, which seems to be the source of the version discussed in this note.
At the Conservative Party conference in October 2010 the Chancellor announced that from January 2013 Child Benefit would be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer. Revised proposals were set out in Budget 2012 under which Child Benefit will instead be clawed back gradually from families with a taxpayer with an income between £50,000 and £60,000 a year.
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Education Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/14, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate, which examines the range of matters covered by the Bill. As originally presented, the Bill sought to make provision relating to the National Assembly for Wales’ framework powers. However, these clauses were removed from the Bill following the ‘yes’ vote in the Welsh Devolution Referendum. A Government amendment to clause 13 (reporting restrictions on alleged offences by teachers) was agreed to without a vote. This inserted new schedule 11B into the Education Act 2002, and was introduced to secure compliance with a European Electronic Commerce Directive. Several minor and technical Government amendments were also made to the Bill. The Opposition tabled many amendments, a considerable number of which were pressed to a division, but none was successful.
The June 2010 Budget announced that from April 2011 the Sure Start Maternity Grant would be restricted to the first child only in a family, saving around £73 million a year. The Social Security Advisory Committee believes that the measure "lacks a coherently argued rationale", and the House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee has suggested that the Government needs to set out more clearly the rationale for the change and its anticipated impact. A particular concern is that changes to the Social Fund Budgeting Loans scheme to mitigate the impact on families will not come into effect until early 2012.
This paper has been written for the House of Commons Second Reading debate on the Education Bill [Bill 137] on 8 February 2011. The Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education’s schools White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching', and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and the reform of higher education funding. It is therefore a very wide-ranging Bill.
By April 2011 most lone parents with a youngest child aged seven or over will no longer be able to claim Income Support but will instead have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance and be available for and seek paid work.
The Welfare Reform Act 2009 includes provisions to enable piloting of mandatory 'work-related activity' for lone parents on Income Support and partners of benefit claimants with a youngest child aged 3-6. The Labour Government announced proposals to run 'pathfinders' in four Jobcentre Plus districts in England from October 2010.
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Children, Schools and Families Bill. The Bill contained a clause on the charitable status of academies, but the Government decided it could achieve its objectives by non-legislative means, and at the end of the Committee Stage the clause was removed. No other changes were made to the Bill in Committee. There were many amendments proposed by the opposition parties but none was successful.
This Bill would repeal and immediately revive, without amendment, the Video Recordings Act 1984. Its purpose is to rectify a procedural error made during the passage of the Act, thereby to make the latter enforceable in UK courts. It would also allow the Act to be subsequently amended by the Digital Economy Bill 2009-10.
This Bill provides ‘guarantees’ for pupils and parents in the school system, underpinned by new Home School Agreements, and makes provision for parental satisfaction surveys. It also makes changes to the powers of governing bodies of maintained schools; extends the remit of School Improvement Partners; provides greater powers for local authorities and the Secretary of State in relation to failing schools; paves the way for the introduction of School Report Cards; and makes provision to introduce a licence to practise for teachers. The Bill also seeks to implement the recommendations of several major reports. These changes affect the school curriculum; provide a registration system for home educators; and provide an additional right of appeal for parents of children with special educational needs. The Bill would also make changes to the reporting of information relating to family proceedings. Other provisions relate to Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Youth Offending Teams, the charitable status of academies, and the fees system for the inspection of independent schools.