Edward Timpson MP, the Children’s minister, has announced that the government is unhappy at the quality and management of serious case reviews and Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).
His Department has taken the decision to commission such reviews itself, centrally. At present the responsibility rests with Local Safeguarding Children Boards, at local authority level.
The announcement was made to the chairs of the LSCBSs at their annual conference.
Mr Timpson expressed his concern that too many LSCBs were “inadequate” and that serious case reviews (SCRs) also needed to be improved.
The Minister said that the national expert panel was concerned that on too many occasions a serious case review was not being held. Or, if they were, there was confusion about how to establish what went wrong.
Such reviews – not all, he said – took too long, were confused and frequently overlooked important facts.
The Department for Education (DfE) will trial commissioning of SCRs with the cooperation of specific LSCBs.
The selection criteria have not yet been issued by DfE.
A DfE spokesperson said: “LSCBs involved in the trial will do so on a purely voluntary basis and the ultimate statutory responsibility for the review will remain with them, as is the case now.”
Photo of Edward Timpson by Kedren Elliott via Flickr