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Schools: Specialist Services

Volume 712: debated on Monday 13 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that children and young people are able to access school-based specialist or targeted services without it being recorded on ContactPoint. [HL4630]

ContactPoint is a tool to help to improve the well-being of all children, help to keep them safe and ensure that no child slips through the net of support services. It provides a quick way for authorised practitioners in different services to find out who else is working with the same child, which will enable them to work together and provide faster, more co-ordinated support to meet a child's needs. ContactPoint will contain basic identifying information about all children and young people in England up to their 18th birthday and contact details for their parents/carers and for services working with the child or young person—nothing more.

In order to provide the service for which it is designed, it will be important that ContactPoint contains contact details of practitioners, in schools and elsewhere, who work with a child in order to offer them additional services. The department has worked with partners to determine what constitutes an involvement that should be recorded on ContactPoint as a specialist or targeted service. ContactPoint guidance offers examples of when it is appropriate for a practitioner to record their contact details on a child’s record. It is not our intention to capture every minor interaction with a school pupil. Accordingly, membership of a music, chess or running club, for example, would not warrant the inclusion of practitioner contact details on ContactPoint. Schools will need to exercise some discretion and professional judgment.