The Department for Education has agreed to omit clauses 32 to 34 of the Children and Social Work Bill which is due to have its Report Stage on 7 March.
The ‘different ways of working’ provisions would have empowered the Secretary of State, at the request of a local authority, to make regulations exempting that local council from a legal duty in relation to children’s social care. Legal requirements could also have been modified.
Notice of amendments to the Bill, published on 3 March 2017, show that Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, is a co-signatory of amendments tabled by the shadow Secretary of State, Emma Lewell-Buck, to remove the clauses.
The decision has been welcomed by Together for Children campaign which has marshalled opposition to the clauses and has had the backing of 53 organisations and over 160 individual experts. Over 108,000 members of the public signed its online petition objecting to the provisions.