The Department for Education (DfE) has released a report on the number of children under protection plans throughout the country.
These plans are designed to keep vulnerable children safe from physical injury, neglect and abuse. They list the risks faced by the child in question and set out what actions will best protect them from such harm.
According to these figures, Blackpool has the highest proportion of such children in the country. The local council had 157 children out of every 10,000 under protection plans this year. This proportion was significantly higher than the English national average of 53 children.
Children’s services in Blackpool have been criticised by Ofsted twice in three years, the BBC reports. In September 2012, the inspectorate said the council “required improvement”. However, the note was removed earlier this year.
The DfE also revealed that Nottingham and Coventry had high numbers of children under protection. Nottingham was the second highest in the country with 112 children per 10,000 and Coventry had 111.
On the other end of the spectrum, local authorities in Milton Keynes, Essex, Wokingham, Somerset, Windsor and Bath had the lowest reported numbers of protected children.
Speaking to the BBC, Labour MP Ann Coffey said the numbers of children under such plans was not necessarily an accurate account of how many were in real danger. She said that the most important question was whether or not “the right children [are] on the child protection registers”.
She claimed that it was important “to know what the real numbers are of children at risk of sexual exploitation”.
To read the full DfE statistics, click here.