Cabinet Office

27. Exceptions and further provision about consent

  1. For the purposes of section 26(2), the consent of a parent is not required if the relevant authority is satisfied that -
    1. the parent cannot be found,
    2. the parent lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to give consent,
    3. the welfare of the child requires that the parent is not contacted, or
    4. it is otherwise not reasonably practicable to obtain the consent of the parent.
  2. Consent under section 26(2) may be withdrawn at any time.
  3. Consent under section 26(2) must be given, and (if withdrawn) withdrawn, in writing.
  4. Section 26 and this section in addition to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Public Reading Stage was open for comments for three weeks from 15 February to 7 March 2011 and has now closed. Your suggestions will be considered by Parliamentarians as the Bill passes through the House of Commons. Thank you for your suggestions.

6 Responses to 27. Exceptions and further provision about consent

  1. I would add to 1. a,b and d that a guardian or close relative should be asked for consent.

    I also feel that the parent (or guardian/relative) should have the right to appeal anything in 1. at any time, this should not be handled by the body collecting the data but by an independent body or a judge.

    • Neil Macehiter says:

      See subsection 4 of the next section:
      “Parent” means a parent of the child and any individual who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibility for the child.

  2. There does need to be provision here for a legal guardian in lieu of a parent, and provision in c for appointment of a guardian of the court to give permission

  3. Zuleika Firousi says:

    For section 1, where the parent cannot be found, contacted or lacking capacity, why is there not leave for another party to give consent? Not all children live with their parents. Some live in care of a local authority or with other relatives, and sometimes a friend. A legal guardian should have the same rights and recognition as a parent in resident.

  4. Certainly this should include legal guardians. Consideration should be given to the inclusion of other relatives being given such leave.

  5. Sam Barnett-Cormack says:

    If all parents are excluded, there should be some sort of oversight. If all but one parent is excluded, there ought to be some guidance as to when this is considered exclusive.

    Also, for 26 as well as 27, are legal guardians considered among parents? What about the case where a child is in foster care but the legal parents are still in some degree of contact – do the foster parents and the legal parents all count?