This judgment (today) shows how depressing the system is in terms of how it looks after children. Children have been made statutory orphans and then just left in that state. In fact the government could if it could be bothered track how many children are in that state through the SSDA903 return, but hasn't been bothered to do so. It is a mistake to think there is anything substantially different in a placement order from a freeing order. Both separate children from their family networks (and often their siblings) without actually ensuring there is an alternative. Anyone who looks objectively at the system has to conclude that it is depressingly bad.
The link is to the case where Ken Livingstone appealed the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England. The Standards Board and associated Adjudication Panel have done a lot of damage to democracy in the UK. The courts are, however, bringing them into more sanity. The point about Ken Livingstone's case is that it was high profile and he also could afford to appeal. The Standard Board has a problem in that those subject to its enquiries face substantial costs that they cannot claim back. This is an issue that needs further work. In essence the Judge found that what he said brought him into disrepute, but not the office of Mayor. We do need the machinery of the SBE and APE to concentrate on things that matter rather than people being rude to each other.