§ Miss Lestor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she intends to take in relation to child care following the ruling of the High Court on 16 March in relation to child minders hitting children in their care; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bowis
We have now studied the High Court judgment. It gives a clear ruling that the Department's guidance on the use of corporal punishment by child minders should be read in the context of the whole guidance document. Local authorities should not apply guidance so strictly that a person seeking registration as a child minder under part X of the Children Act 1989, who is in conflict with part of it, is automatically found to be unfit to be a child minder. The Department considers it unnecessary to introduce regulations. We are considering whether further clarification of the guidance is desirable.