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Local Authority round-up: 10/05/24

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.


Government expands support for pupils with SEND

The Government has announced that new schools which provide dedicated support for over 2,000 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are to open in 16 areas across England.

The schools are to provide specialist spaces for pupils whose needs cannot be met in mainstream education. A competition for academy trusts to run the schools will be launched soon.

The announcement follows investment of £105 million to support the Government’s strategy of delivering 60,000 more special school places.

For more information, please click here.

Planning and Housing

Government to introduce legislation to ensure access to single sex toilet facilities

The Government has introduced new requirements which will ensure the public can access appropriate facilities either through a separate single-sex space or a self-contained, universal toilet.

The changes to building regulations will mean that new non-domestic buildings, including restaurants, shopping centres, offices and public toilets will be required to provide separate single-sex toilets for women and men. Self-contained, universal toilets may be provided in addition, where space allows, or instead of single-sex toilets where there isn’t enough space.

This new legislation is in response to concerns from women, elderly and the disabled who felt unfairly disadvantaged by the development of gender-neutral facilities, arguing that such facilities impeded on privacy and dignity.

This follows the Government’s reinforcement of single-sex wards within the NHS. The Department for Education also re-enforced that schools are to provide separate toilets for boys and girls aged 8 years and over.

For more information, please click here.

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New safeguards proposed for child strip searches

The Government is proposing new measures to strengthen protections for children and vulnerable people who are subject to a strip search prior to arrest, as well as following detention.

The changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) Codes of Practice A and C include proposals that would require a senior officer, of the rank of inspector or above, to authorise any search of a child or vulnerable person.

The Government also seeks to ensure that an appropriate adult of the opposite sex may only be present if known to the detainee and the detainee agrees.

Under the plans, police officers will also have to make a safeguarding referral to children’s services whenever a child is subject to a search involving the exposure of intimate parts, to ensure appropriate follow up action is taken.

These proposals follow several incidents where children have experienced severe trauma as a result of being intrusively searched. The new measures seek to ensure that safeguarding and child protection are sufficiently prioritised.

For more information, please click here.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Data Protection – Biometric Data

On Thursday 16th May, between 10am-11am,  our expert Commercial lawyers we will delve into the complexities surrounding biometric data in the workplace. Our team will focus on the following:

  • Understanding the significance and implications of using biometric data in modern-day operations.
  • Exploring the case of Serco Leisure Operating Limited and relevant associated trusts, as investigated and enforced by the ICO.
  • Explaining the legal and ethical dimensions surrounding the collection, storage, and usage of biometric data.
  • Discussing strategies for organizations to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and safeguard individuals’ biometric information.

To register your place, please click here.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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