Children and families

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on children and families. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

16.01.2012Community budgets
The Government announced in the comprehensive spending review on 20 October 2010 that it would introduce community budgets. These would initially be set up in 16 pilot areas before being made available elsewhere in England. The introduction of community budgets will be considered further during the second part of the local government resource review. A second round of pilot schemes was announced by the Government on 2 December 2011.
03.11.2011Parental responsibility
This note provides information on acquiring parental responsibility, including for unmarried fathers, civil partners and step-parents.
28.10.2011Confidentiality and openness in the family courts
This note provides information on the new rules to enable duly accredited media representatives (but not the wider public) to attend certain family proceedings held in private, subject to a power for the court to direct their exclusion.
16.09.2011Children: Enforcement of contact orders
This note outlines the powers of enforcement available to the courts when a parent does not comply with a contact order.
25.03.2011The ContactPoint database

Research Papers

05.05.2011Education Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Education Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/14, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate, which examines the range of matters covered by the Bill. As originally presented, the Bill sought to make provision relating to the National Assembly for Wales' framework powers. However, these clauses were removed from the Bill following the 'yes' vote in the Welsh Devolution Referendum. A Government amendment to clause 13 (reporting restrictions on alleged offences by teachers) was agreed to without a vote. This inserted new schedule 11B into the Education Act 2002, and was introduced to secure compliance with a European Electronic Commerce Directive. Several minor and technical Government amendments were also made to the Bill. The Opposition tabled many amendments, a considerable number of which were pressed to a division, but none was successful.
07.02.2011Education Bill [Bill 137 of 2010-11]
This paper has been written for the House of Commons Second Reading debate on the Education Bill [Bill 137] on 8 February 2011. The Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education's schools White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching', and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and the reform of higher education funding. It is therefore a very wide-ranging Bill.
15.02.2010Children, Schools and Families Bill: Committee Stage Report Bill No 8 of 2009-10
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Children, Schools and Families Bill. The Bill contained a clause on the charitable status of academies, but the Government decided it could achieve its objectives by non-legislative means, and at the end of the Committee Stage the clause was removed. No other changes were made to the Bill in Committee. There were many amendments proposed by the opposition parties but none was successful.
31.12.2009Video Recordings Bill (Bill 14 of 2009-10)
This Bill would repeal and immediately revive, without amendment, the Video Recordings Act 1984. Its purpose is to rectify a procedural error made during the passage of the Act, thereby to make the latter enforceable in UK courts. It would also allow the Act to be subsequently amended by the Digital Economy Bill 2009-10.
16.12.2009Children, Schools and Families Bill. Bill 8 2009-10.
This Bill provides 'guarantees' for pupils and parents in the school system, underpinned by new Home School Agreements, and makes provision for parental satisfaction surveys. It also makes changes to the powers of governing bodies of maintained schools; extends the remit of School Improvement Partners; provides greater powers for local authorities and the Secretary of State in relation to failing schools; paves the way for the introduction of School Report Cards; and makes provision to introduce a licence to practise for teachers. The Bill also seeks to implement the recommendations of several major reports. These changes affect the school curriculum; provide a registration system for home educators; and provide an additional right of appeal for parents of children with special educational needs. The Bill would also make changes to the reporting of information relating to family proceedings. Other provisions relate to Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Youth Offending Teams, the charitable status of academies, and the fees system for the inspection of independent schools.

Select Committee Reports

02.12.2011Memorandum to the Education Select Committee on Post-legislative assessments of the Education and Inspections...
Education Select Committee report [Commons]
26.01.2011Sure start children's centres.
Government response. Education Select Committee report [Commons]
03.11.2010Cafcass's response to increased demand for its services.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
15.03.2010Sure Start children's centres.
Children Schools and Families Select Committee report [Commons]
03.03.2010The Review of Elective Home Education.
Government response. Children Schools and Families Select Committee; Department for Children, Schools and Families report [Commons]

Lords Library Notes

09.06.2011Education Bill (HL Bill 67 of 2010-12). LLN 2011/020
Education Bill. House of Lords Library Note 2011/020
02.02.2011Early parenting and preparing a child for success in school: public reaction. LLN 2011/004
Early parenting and preparing a child for success in school: public reaction. House of Lords Library Note 2011/004
28.01.2011Early parenting and preparing a child for success in school: debate on 3rd February 2011. LLN 2011/003
Early parenting and preparing a child for success in school: debate on 3rd February 2011. House of Lords Library Note 2011/003
08.05.2009Debate on 14th May 2009: the wellbeing of children and families. LLN 2009/006
Debate on 14th May 2009: the wellbeing of children and families. House of Lords Library Note 2009/006

Early Day Motions

That this House congratulates Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, on the publication of its new report, Preventing Babies' Deaths: what needs to be done; notes that 17 ...
That this House considers Sir Neil McKay's review of children's cardiac services has unreasonably weighted the odds against retaining the excellent children's cardiac centre at Leeds ...
That this House notes that the parents of ill children often need to live in hospital wards with their children; further notes that living expenses such as meals are not paid for by ...
That this House welcomes the joint venture between Wolverhampton University and Walsall Schools to promote the best educational practice that supports the attainment of children from ...
That this House welcomes the Saving Lives Campaign ... Drive Safely Because i-Count launched by the charity Kids Count and other associated bodies; notes that the campaign draws attention ...


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - an occasional series of papers compiled by the House of Lords Library