Council chiefs admit ‘we’re not halfway there’ on child protection

The council that was at the centre of a child protection storm after two boys tortured and sexually humiliated two other youngsters has admitted that "features of that systematic failure remain today".
The council that was at the centre of a child protection storm after two boys tortured and sexually humiliated two other youngsters has admitted that "features of that systematic failure remain today".
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TOP management at a council pillioried for continued failings in child protection have admitted they are “not even halfway” to addressing concerns sparked by a sadistic attack by two young brothers three years ago.

Doncaster Council’s chief executive Jo Miller and its elected mayor Peter Davies said they accepted the findings of a critical review written by Lord Carlile of Berriew, ordered by education secretary Michael Gove.

The Liberal Democrat peer was called in after the publication of a serious case review into an attack in the former mining village of Edlington in 2009, which saw two boys torture and sexually humiliate two other youngsters.

Yesterday Lord Carlile concluded there were still “weaknesses” in the council’s performance in child protection but said: “I found that Doncaster today is not faced with the shambolic situation of early 2009.”

His findings coincided with the publication of a highly critical report by watchdog Ofsted, which carried out a 10-day unannounced inspection on Doncaster’s child protection department last month.

Doncaster Council has been the subject of Government intervention since early 2009, and yesterday chief executive Jo Miller called the reports “disappointing”.

Mr Davies said: “We all realise that we are not even halfway there and I do not need these continuous reports to tell me that.

“It is a great shame that when Ofsted inspectors visited Doncaster they did not speak to me personally as I would have been able to tell them that we have always known that a great deal more needs to be done and that I have faith in the team in Children’s Services to deliver this.”