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Birmingham City Council's Statement: Khyra Ishaq

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:

“A serious case review into the death of Khyra Ishaq has been officially
started today (23 May 2008) after a meeting of the Birmingham Safeguarding
Children Board (BSCB), an independent, cross-agency body. A serious case
review will always be conducted when a child dies and abuse or neglect is
known or suspected to be a factor.

“The death of Khyra Ishaq is however the matter of a criminal and coroner’s
investigation and therefore the BSCB will not impede or compromise these
investigations.

“Results of this serious case review will be made public sometime after the
completion of the criminal process. The findings will be issued to OFSTED
and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

“Statutory guidance is being followed by launching a serious case review;
pupils and teachers at Khyra Ishaq’s school, Grove Primary School, in
Handsworth, are being supported by city council psychologists; and the
council has provided public statements each day since the case became
public on Tuesday (21 May 2008).

“Birmingham City Council Chief Executive, Stephen Hughes, spoke to local
MP, Khalid Mahmood by telephone yesterday to update and reassure him on the
case, he followed this up with a letter today and committed to keep Mr
Mahmood informed throughout.

“As part of the formal processes, each service involved in child
protection, both within the council and other public agencies, will be
carrying out an internal management review. This is partly to provide
information to other investigations but equally importantly it is to find
out if there are any gaps in the processes, procedures or guidance
(statutory and otherwise) which could have made a difference. If any are
found, immediate changes will be made without waiting for the findings of
the investigations.

“Khyra’s death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with her family, friends
and the local community within which she lived. And all those people can be
reassured that the city council and all other agencies involved are doing
everything they can to find out what happened and look after her brothers
and sisters to the best of our ability.

“The city council is seeking to ensure that the privacy of Khyra’s brothers
and sisters is respected.”

This second statement is sent on behalf The Birmingham Safeguarding
Children Board, an independent body, which is not a function of Birmingham
City Council.

The Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board said:

"Any child's death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with Khyra's family
and friends at this difficult time. Following a meeting this morning the
Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) have now commenced a serious
case review, an independent examination into the circumstances surrounding
the death of Khyra.

"Local Safeguarding Children Boards have a statutory duty to review all
child deaths, particularly those that appear to be due to abuse or neglect.
We have started this process, however the BSCB are mindful of the on going
criminal and coroner's investigations. The full report of this serious case
review will be sent to Department for Children, Schools and Families and
Ofsted for scrutiny.

"The findings of this review will be made public in due course following
the completion of the criminal process."

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