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Government Concede on Serious Case Reviews

The link is to the Queen's Speech debate on Children. 15 months ago I was the only person publicly raising concerns about "false negatives" in child protection where the system was failing to protect children. Now it is one of the key news items.

The government are still unclear as to the dimensions of the problem although Ofsted have produced some figures.

During the debate I obtained the agreement of the Chairman of the Children's Select Committee in assisting to track the true size of the problem. Later on, however, Ed Ball conceded my request for the information saying:

"Although I do not agree with everything John Hemming has said, I know he is committed to the cause for which he campaigns, and I can say to him today that, following the Ofsted reports of recent weeks, we will be able to give him the detailed information that he wants on serious case review numbers."

He continues to miss one of the key points on the writing of SCR's however (which is also in the debate).

John Hemming He who pays the piper calls the tune. Who will appoint the independent chair of a serious case review? Will it still be the director of children's services, or will it be Ofsted?

Edward Balls The appointment will be made by the local safeguarding board. In Haringey, that board is now independently chaired by Graham Badman, the former director of children's services in Kent. That will be a matter for each area to decide.

One of the point he misses is that a truly independent report needs to be done by someone appointed by other than those responsible for the situation. Ofsted would do - and are probably the right people.

Otherwise you merely get another whitewash report - which is the normal situation.

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