High Court dismisses claim that failure to ban unregulated placements for 16- and 17-year-olds was unlawful

Community Care have reported that the High Court has dismissed a children’s rights charity’s claim that the government’s failure to ban unregulated placements for children in care aged 16 or 17 was unlawful.


Article 39 brought the challenge against the Department for Education last year after arguing that a ban on unregulated accommodation for under-16s, introduced last September, wrongly excluded 16- and 17-year-olds and left them exposed to harm.


But this week the court ruled that the government had been entitled to decide that placements in settings such as hostels, shared houses, flats and bedsits, rather than children’s homes or foster care, were suitable for some older children and that there was no legal basis for the court to intervene.

The court also ruled that the government had not unlawfully failed to consult on extending the ban to 16- and 17-year-olds or wrongly failed to consider responses to its consultation on barring unregulated placements for under-16s.

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