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Criminal Offences

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department since April 2005, broken down by Act. (76907)

I refer the hon. Member to the replies given on 11 January 2005, Official Report, column 450W, and 14 December 2005, Official Report, column 2072W.

Since 1 April 2005 eight new offences were created in legislation sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills.

The Education Act 2005 created five new offences relating to the obstruction of an inspection. These provisions are found in sections 4(3), 10(2), 23(3), 24(4) (which relate to the inspection of schools) and in section 57(5) (which relates to the inspection of careers services in Wales).

Two further offences were also created by sections 109 and 111 of the Education Act 2005. These concern the unauthorised disclosure of certain information arising from provisions introduced by the 2005 Act which permitted tax and social security information to be shared for the purpose of deciding on or checking eligibility for Education Maintenance Allowances and free school meals. Unauthorised disclosure of such information was therefore made an offence.

The Children and Adoption Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 21 June 2006. By section 12(3) of the Act, which is not yet in force, one new offence concerning adoptions from abroad was created. An offence is committed when a British resident brings or causes another to bring a child into the United Kingdom and conditions specified by the Secretary of State have not been met.