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Departments: Electronic Government

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason an individual must be at least 19 years of age to register with his Department's e-consultation website. (126912)

Access to the Department's e-consultation website is open to all, whether or not they are registered with the site, and young people under 19 are able to participate in our e-consultations. Registration only means that the site retains individuals’ details, enabling them to receive e-mail alerts about future consultations and giving the flexibility to partially complete a consultation and then return to it at a later date.

Registration is limited to those aged 19 and over in order to ensure that personal data about children and young people is not held on the website, in compliance with the Data Protection Act. The system neither asks for, nor retains, any identification information from non registered users.

The Department actively encourages children and young people to participate in consultation and engage with the Department, often producing young people's versions of consultation questionnaires. A recent example of this was the Young People's Guide to the Care Matters Green Paper in 2006; over 1,000 young people and children gave an input to this consultation.