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Part 1 E+W+S+N.I.National targets, strategies and reports

Strategies: duties of Secretary of StateE+W+S+N.I.

9UK strategiesE+W+S+N.I.

(1)The Secretary of State must, before the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed, publish and lay before Parliament the first UK strategy.

(2)A “UK strategy” is a strategy under this section setting out the measures that the Secretary of State proposes to take—

(a)for the purpose of complying with section 2 (duty to ensure that targets are met), and

(b)for the purpose of ensuring as far as possible that children in the United Kingdom do not experience socio-economic disadvantage.

(3)A UK strategy may also refer to proposals of the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers or the relevant Northern Ireland department.

(4)Before the end of the period to which a UK strategy relates, the Secretary of State must review the strategy and publish and lay before Parliament a revised UK strategy, but this subsection does not apply after the beginning of the target year.

(5)In preparing a UK strategy, the Secretary of State must consider what (if any) measures ought to be taken in each of the following areas—

(a)the promotion and facilitation of the employment of parents or of the development of the skills of parents,

(b)the provision of financial support for children and parents,

(c)the provision of information, advice and assistance to parents and the promotion of parenting skills,

(d)physical and mental health, education, childcare and social services, and

(e)housing, the built or natural environment and the promotion of social inclusion.

(6)When considering for the purpose of a UK strategy what measures ought to be taken in relation to each of those areas, the Secretary of State—

(a)must consider which groups of children in the United Kingdom appear to be disproportionately affected by socio-economic disadvantage, and

(b)must consider the likely impact of each measure on children within each of those groups.

(7)A UK strategy must—

(a)where it relates to a period ending before the end of the target year—

(i)describe the progress that the Secretary of State considers needs to be made by the end of the period to which the strategy relates if the targets in sections 3 to 6 are to be met in relation to the United Kingdom in relation to the target year, and

(ii)describe the other progress that the Secretary of State intends to make by the end of the period to which the strategy relates in achieving the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(b), and

(b)describe the progress that the Secretary of State intends to make by the end of the target year in achieving the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(b), otherwise than by ensuring that the targets are met.

(8)A UK strategy other than the first must also—

(a)describe the measures taken in accordance with the previous UK strategy and the measures taken in accordance with a Scottish strategy, a Welsh strategy or a Northern Ireland strategy,

(b)describe the effect of those measures on progress towards meeting the targets in sections 3 to 6, and

(c)describe other effects of those measures that contribute to the achievement of the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(b).

(9)References in this section to the period to which a UK strategy relates are references to the period beginning with the date on which the UK strategy is laid before Parliament and—

(a)except in the case of a UK strategy laid before Parliament less than 3 years before the beginning of the target year, ending 3 years later, and

(b)in that excepted case, ending with the target year.

10Provision of advice by Commission and consultation with othersE+W+S+N.I.

(1)In preparing a UK strategy, the Secretary of State must request the advice of the Commission, and specify in the request the date by which the advice is to be given.

(2)The Secretary of State may at any time request the Commission to give advice, by a specified date, on any matter connected with—

(a)a UK strategy, or

(b)the targets in sections 3 to 6.

(3)The Secretary of State must have regard to any advice given by the Commission under this section.

(4)In preparing a UK strategy, the Secretary of State—

(a)must consult such local authorities and associations of local authorities in England as the Secretary of State thinks fit,

(b)must consult the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers and the relevant Northern Ireland department,

(c)must consult such children, and organisations working with or representing children, as the Secretary of State thinks fit,

(d)must consult such parents, and organisations working with or representing parents, as the Secretary of State thinks fit, and

(e)may consult such other persons as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(5)In preparing a UK strategy, the Secretary of State must have regard to any Scottish strategy, Welsh strategy or Northern Ireland strategy.