Children and Families Bill to be published today

Today the Government will publish The Children and Families Bill, which includes reforms to maternity leave, adoption, family justice, and an overhaul of Special Educational needs.

The Bill will:

  • Allow shared parental leave for new parents (to mix and match up to 52 weeks as they please)
  • Extend flexible working to all employees, not just parents and carers
  • Speed up the adoption process through the courts
  • Compel every council to have a virtual school head to champion the education of children in their care, as if they all attended the same school
  • Reform the Special Educational needs system, so that it extends from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their parents greater control
  • Allow the setting up of new childminder agencies (where individual childminders can come together to from an agency), and introduce new maximum ratios for child to carer and improve training and education of child carers