Informaticopia

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Report on 'Every Child Matters'

MP committee concerned by Government plans for IT-based ‘child indexes’

This report from PublicTechnology.net sets out the findings of the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee into Government plans for IT-based ‘child indexes’ in its Green Paper 'Every Child Matters'.

Several issues are discussed including training and the balance between cost and potential benefit;

“Joint training is crucially important – both in terms of breaking down barriers between professionals and upgrading the skills of in-service staff working in education, health, social services, the voluntary and community sector, and elsewhere. Yet this is expected to be funded, in the main, locally, and this may be very difficult where there are other pressures on budgets.”

“Another area we have concerns about is the creation of a series of linked IT-based ‘child indexes’ or databases. Child indexes are likely to be costly, yet the research evidence currently available does not prove that they will be worthwhile, or that serious operational obstacles can be overcome. The Government has agreed that there is a need to progress very slowly in this area, and we strongly agree. Pending further research and analysis, the possibility remains that money allocated to child indexes could be more usefully spent elsewhere.”

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