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Children: Protection

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what information each local authority will be required to supply in order to comply with performance indicator 71 of the new indicator set for local authorities; what the reporting intervals will be against the indicator; what mechanism will be used to assess the performance of individual authorities; and what steps will be taken to address underperforming authorities. (167148)

The indicator on children who have run away from home/care overnight will be measured from 2009-10. This will give us time to identify robust data collection methodologies. We are considering a number of different options to gather data on young runaways in connection with the new indicator, working closely with the other Government Departments, the police, local authorities and expert charitable organisations such as the Children’s Society.

All top tier local authorities and their strategic partners will have to report back at least annually on their performance against all 198 cross-Government indicators in the new national set, which was published on 11 October 2007.

In addition, each area will agree with Government up to 35 improvement targets—plus the 16 statutory education and early years targets—drawn from indicators in the national set. Local areas may also set themselves an unlimited number of local targets which will not be subject to central performance monitoring and which need not be drawn from the national indicator set.

From 2009 performance against all 198 national indicators will be published each year by the Audit Commission, as part of the inspectorates’ comprehensive area assessment of local authorities. This will also report on each local authority’s direction of travel and use of resources and will assess risks in the area.