Feeds

Tories plan streamlined children's database

Only 'vulnerable' kids

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

An incoming Conservative government would replace the ContactPoint database of all children in England with a system covering only those seen as vulnerable.

Its central system would cover only groups such as those in care, on the child protection register or with backgrounds of domestic violence, according to Tim Loughton, the shadow minister for children and young people.

Loughton told GC News that this would cost "substantially less" than the government's ContactPoint system, which has a budget of £224m and is planned to open in January. The number of children on the database would probably go into the hundred thousands.

"What we favour is putting the resources into better, beefed-up data sharing between the different agencies," he said, adding that this would involve direct data sharing between professionals at a local level.

Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove announced the Conservative Party's intention to scrap ContactPoint at the party's conference in late September.

Its slimmed down national system would act as a signpost for children who move between local authorities, so professionals in their new area would have someone to contact to gather background information. "That way you would safeguard children moving over council boundaries, which would be particularly relevant in London," said Loughton.

The party is working on the detail of its policy, and this will be released before the next election. Loughton said he is involved in meetings with local authority practitioners to discuss this. However, the plans are based on a rejected amendment he made to the Children Act 2004.

Loughton said that he originally opposed ContactPoint on the basis that it will dilute efforts across all children, rather than focusing on the vulnerable. It could also discourage teenagers from accessing pregnancy and sexual health clinics, as their involvement with a service would be recorded.

He has since become concerned over the security of the system, the idea that the children of celebrities and MPs will not be on it and the question of which professional groups will have access. "The most recent concern is over the police having access in their enquiries," he said. "That was never considered when the legislation was passed."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.