Point of clarity on ContactPoint

27th November 2009 at 00:00

It is misleading to suggest we have not listened to heads about ContactPoint; it has been developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Independent Schools Council (ISC) ("Independents' leader slams child protection register", November 20).

The information schools need to provide is clearly set out. The Department for Children, Schools and Families has worked with representatives of the ISC to agree how independents can transfer data so that it places the least burden on them.

We have also produced guidance, clearly setting out the sort of additional services that should be recorded on ContactPoint to help ensure that it holds the most useful and appropriate information. Piano lessons clearly do not fall into that category.

It is also inaccurate to claim that children's records will automatically be shielded because their parents are employed in sensitive areas. We have always been clear that requests for shielding must be assessed case by case. All records will be extremely secure whether or not they are shielded.

ContactPoint has been designed to help frontline practitioners work across organisations, intervene earlier and prevent problems escalating. We have evidence to show it is already helping them to do that.

Delyth Morgan, Minister for children, Department for Children, Schools and Families, London.

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