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Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021

These regulations, which come into force on 30th March 2021, have been made "in order to continue to assist the children's social care sector during the coronavirus pandemic".

Regulation 2(2) amends Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills (Fees and Frequency of Inspections) (Children's Homes etc) Regulations 2015 (the 2015 Regulations) to reduce certain fees payable under Parts 2, 3 and 4 of those Regulations. In particular, they decrease the fees that are payable to the Chief Inspector in respect of registration of voluntary adoption agencies, adoption support agencies, children's homes and residential family centres; and variation of registration of those establishments and of fostering agencies. They also decrease the annual fees payable by the above establishments and agencies as well as those payable by boarding schools, residential colleges and residential special schools.

Regulation 2(3) and (4) amend the approved places threshold (see regulation 2 of the 2015 Regulations for the definition of "approved place") set out in the 2015 Regulations. Once this threshold has been exceeded, the relevant institution is obliged to pay a higher annual fee.

Regulation 2(3)(a) to (c) increases the approved places threshold for residential colleges from between 4 – 10 places to 4 – 11 places.

Regulation 2(3)(d) to (f) increases the approved places threshold for residential special schools from between 4 – 15 places to 4 – 17 places.

Regulation 2(4) increases the approved places threshold for children's homes from between 4 – 25 places to 4 – 29 places.

Regulation 3 amends regulation 14 of the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 to provide that the amendment made by regulation 12 of those Regulations ceases to have effect at the end of 30th September 2021. Regulation 12 omits regulation 27 of the 2015 Regulations which sets out the minimum frequency by which premises must be inspected.

Regulation 4 extends the amendments made by the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (No.2) Regulations 2020 until the end of 30th September 2021.

Regulation 5 revokes Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills (Fees and Frequency of Inspections) (Children's Homes etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. Given the ongoing pressures faced by certain children's social care providers caused by the pandemic, all the changes made by that instrument in relation to fees payable by those providers to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills have been reversed through regulation 2(2) to (4) of these Regulations.

The Secretary of State must still review the effectiveness of the continued limited amendment made by the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 and of the continued amendments made by the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020 for the period they remain in effect.

For the latest Regulations, click here.

14/3/21