The national roll-out of the children’s database ContactPoint is to go ahead from later this month, the government has announced.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said the national rollout of ContactPoint was on track and that practitioners across England could start to be trained and to access the system from late October.

The online directory holds demographic data for the 11m children in England under 18, and was first used by selected professionals in 17 local authorities in the North West England in May.

It has faced several delays as well as criticism from privacy campaigners.

ContactPoint holds demographic information plus contact details for a child’s education setting, GP practice and other practitioners or services working with them.

It also shows whether a service or practitioner holds an assessment under the Common Assessment Framework and whether they are a lead professional for that child.

Children’s minister Delyth Morgan said the system would help professionals to ensure that no child slips through the net.

She added: “I am delighted that we are on track to begin to roll out ContactPoint nationally later in the year.

"We have received early feedback from the pathfinder areas which demonstrates the positive ways that ContactPoint is helping practitioners in their day to day work to intervene earlier and prevent problems escalating.

“No system can alone guarantee that all children will be safe, but we know ContactPoint will make a real difference.”

The department has also launched a consultation on changes to the rules governing ContactPoint.

The DCSF said ContactPoint had been built, tested and subjected to rigorous security tests since the law governing the database came into force in August 2007 and it was nor proposing minor changes to the legislation.

The changes include: updating the law so that children whose parents live overseas but who go to school in England will be included on ContactPoint; ensuring that when a decision is taken to a shield a child’s record the name of their parent or carer will also be hidden; and making it clear that where relevant more than one address for an individual child can be held on the system.

Delyth Morgan said the DCSF estimated that when fully operational ContactPoint would save at least 5m hours of professional time.

The consultation runs until 29 December.