Children and Families Bill published

The Children and Families Bill has been published today. Of particular interest to family lawyers:

  • Adoption reform (sections 1 to 6): the Government wants to reform the system so that more children can benefit more quickly from being adopted into a loving home.
  • Children in care (sections 7 to 9): educational achievement for children in care is not improving fast enough. The Bill will require every Council to have a ‘virtual school head’ to champion the education of children in the authority’s care, as if they all attended the same school. There are also new provisions for post-adoption contact (section 8).
  • Family Justice (Part 2): the Government wants to remove delays and ensure that the children’s best interests are at the heart of decision making. Part 2 includes provisions relating to MIAMs (s. 10), the 'shared parenting presumption' (s.11), 'child arrangements orders', which replace contact and residence orders (s.12), expert evidence (s.13), timetabling of care proceedings (s.14), repeal of s.41 MCA (s.17) and the repeal (at last) of the uncommenced provisions of Part 2 of the Family Law Act 1996 (s.18).

The Bill can be found here, explanatory notes here and a press notice from the Department for Education, here. There is also some comment on the Bill, here.


  1. Anyone going to miss section 41?

    Anyone think repealing it will make any difference?

    Thought not.

    1. Yes, it is rather pointless. I may be wrong, but I can't recall a court interfering (where there was no dispute between the parents) once in my twenty-four years of practising family law.


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