Feeds

ContactPoint may be cannibalised for parts

The data has been zapped, but the system and ETL routines may be useful...

Security for virtualized datacentres

ContactPoint may be dead, but the government could yet find a use for some parts of the old system when its new national signposting service finally surfaces, some time in the next couple of years.

That appears to be the general gist of a letter sent by Tim Loughton, Secretary of State for Education to Professor Eileen Munro, who is currently leading a review into issues surrounding child protection. The focus of this review, according to the Cabinet Office, is on how best to remove the barriers and bureaucracy which prevent social workers spending valuable time with vulnerable children.

Details of the letter, which was sent in November 2010, were released yesterday in response to a written parliamentary question by Tory MP Charlotte Leslie. The letter emphasises that any future system should restrict itself to holding details of children known to be at risk, most likely those who have been subject to a child protection plan or who have looked after by a public authority.

This is in direct contrast to the approach taken by the original ContactPoint scheme, which was criticised for being at the same time both too broad and too shallow: that is, it would have held contact details for any and every individual who had had contact with a child in some caring capacity (including not just social workers, but police and medical staff as well), but it would have included no details of the precise risks posed to individual children.

The new base would also need to have clear criteria for the removal of a child's details from the database.

The government has therefore asked Professor Munro to look at various key questions before submitting any recommendations. These include the needs of practitioners in respect of quickly identifying children; the full range of categories of child that should be included; new processes needed to work with a new ICT system; and, crucially, any impact such a system might have on existing professional practice.

Finally, the minister asked Professor Munro to look at the cost-effectiveness of such a system.

This approach, together with a series of small-scale pilots in local authorities and hospital accident and emergency departments, and a stepped evaluation of individual data sources that may be included in the new system, suggest a much more softly-softly approach than before.

The letter also makes clear that "there will be no fixed assumption that ContactPoint assets should be re-used": in other words, the government might, or it might not.

Since the data in the old ContactPoint system has now supposedly been put beyond all possibility of recovery, the main assets remaining are the system structure, and any ETL routines relating to existing systems.

Professor Munro responded by expressing her support for such an approach. She gave her commitment to meeting already agreed deadlines, including an interim report by the end of January and a final report, with substantive recommendations, by April 2011. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.