§ Mr. Gorrie
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to review the operation of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
[holding answer 26 January 1999]: The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 is already kept under review in a number of ways. It was identified as a research priority area in 1996 and a number of research studies have been commissioned across a wide range of the Act's provisions. Progress is reported through a series of research bulletins, copies of which are in the Library.
The operation of the Act is also reviewed regularly through inspections by the Social Work Services Inspectorate, publication of statistical information and a joint Scottish Office/COSLA working group set up for that purpose. A further indication of the effectiveness of the 1995 Act will come from the regular review of local authority children's services plans, which were required 267W to be in place from April 1998. Taken together, the information from these sources allow effective oversight of the Act to be maintained.
From 1 July 1999 this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.