Coram and Statutory Instrument 445

Published: Monday 27th July 2020

Coram has reaffirmed its support for the Judicial Review starting today in the High Court requesting that legal protections for children in care, removed or diluted by the government by the laying of Statutory Instrument 445 on 23 April this year, be reinstated.  

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Coram is concerned that the Department for Education removed a number of safeguards for children in care with no public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny, with the changes coming into force the very next day (24 April). We therefore support Article 39’s request to reinstate those legal protections with immediate effect.  

Coram welcomes the announcement by the Children’s Minister Vicky Ford that the majority of the changes will expire on 25th September, while urging the government to ensure that there is full and proper consultation with the sector on the few changes that they do plan to retain beyond that date.  

However, with regard to the changes that they intend to allow to expire on 25th September, we see no reason for these to be retained and believe they should be revoked with immediate effect.  

Dr Carol Homden, CEO of Coram, said: “The regulations which exist to protect children in the care of the state are the bedrock for ensuring that the most vulnerable can rely on consistent and resilient legal position, no matter where they live. Anything that risks watering down children’s rights and changes made without careful consultation must be of significant concern.   

“We welcome the government’s announcement that the majority will not last beyond September 25th, but in that case feel even more strongly that the case for immediate revocation is clear. We therefore support Article 39’s work to achieve this through the High Court this week so we can all make absolutely sure that no child falls through the legal net."