HL Deb 08 November 1989 vol 512 cc830-1

232B Before Clause 64, insert the following new clause —

'Welfare of children accommodated in independent schools.

. —(1) It shall be the duty of—

  1. (a) the proprietor of any independent school which provides accommodation for any child; and
  2. (b) any person who is not the proprietor of such a school but who is responsible for conducting it,
to safeguard and promote the child's welfare.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a school which is a children's home or a residential care home.

(3) Where accommodation is provided for a child by an independent school within the area of a local authority, the authority shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to enable them to determine whether the child's welfare is adequately safeguarded and promoted while he is accommodated by the school.

(4) Where a local authority are of the opinion that there has been a failure to comply with subsection (1) in relation to a child provided with accommodation by a school within their area, they shall notify the Secretary of State.

(5) Any person authorised by a local authority may, for the purpose of enabling the authority to discharge their duty under this section, enter at any reasonable time any independent school within their area which provides accommodation for any child.

(6) Any person entering an independent school in exercise of the power conferred by subsection (5) may carry out such inspection of premises, children and records as is prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section.

(7) Any person exercising that power shall, if asked to do so, produce some duly authenticated document showing his authority to do so.

(8) Any person authorised by the regulations to inspect records —

  1. (a) shall be entitled at any reasonable time to have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any computer and any associated apparatus or material which is or has been in use in connection with the records in question; and
  2. (b) may require —
  1. (i) the person by whom or on whose behalf the computer is or has been so used; or
  2. (ii) any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of, the computer, apparatus or material, to afford him such assistance as he may reasonably require.

(9) Any person who intentionally obstructs another in the exercise of any power conferred by this section or the regulations shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(10) In this section "proprietor" has the same meaning as in the Education Act 1944.'

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 232B. I have already spoken to the amendment in connection with Amendment No. 218.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in the said amendment. —(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.