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National Care Standards Commission

Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what powers of enforcement the National Care Standards Commission has in respect of its reports on boarding schools; [125165](2) what powers

(a) the Government, (b) school staff, (c) governors and (d) parents have to refuse to accept the recommendations of the National Care Standards Commission in respect of independent boarding schools. [125173]

The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) has no such powers of enforcement.The objective of the national minimum standards is to ensure that young people who board at any school receive a good basic level of care and that their welfare needs are met. Inspections against the standards are carried out by the NCSC, working in conjunction with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and local education authorities.The power to take action in an independent boarding school failing to ensure adequate care provision falls to DfES as the regulating authority. Where DfES considers that a report shows children's welfare as not sufficiently safeguarded and promoted, it will take action, and require the school to make the necessary improvements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what qualifications are required for inspectors of boarding schools from the National Care Standards Commission. [125175]

Those employed as inspectors of children's services by the National Care Standards Commission need—in addition to other requirements concerning relevant experience, skills and specialist knowledge—a qualification from the following list:

  • Certificate of Qualification in Social Work
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • Qualified Teacher Status
  • Diploma in Higher Education
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • Certificate in Social Services
  • Registered General Nurse
  • State Registered Nurse
  • Certificate in Residential Care of Children and Young People
  • National Vocational Qualification—Level 4 in a field working with children or managing children's services.