Chief exec-led scrutiny board ‘not to blame’
PETERBOROUGH City Council has said a board set up to oversee improvements in children’s services - chaired by chief executive Gillian Beasley - had acted appropriately despite the department’s abject performance.
Although a serious case review into the council’s handling of the Tyler Whelan case did not apportion any blame, it did criticise children’s services for failing to adequately follow up initial concerns raised about the Whelan family prior to his death in March 2011.
Ms Beasley was the chair of the Safeguarding and Children in Care Project Management Board between March 2010 and September 2011.
The board was set up to ensure improvements in children’s services identified following an “inadequate” Ofsted judgement in March 2010 were followed through, only for a similarly damning Ofsted report to follow in September 2011, which saw the board replaced with the Children’s Social Care External Improvement Board and Ms Beasley replaced as chair.
But interim director of children’s services Malcolm Newsam has re-stated that the board was not kept fully informed by ex-children’s services head John Richards.
He said: “Members of the board reviewed progress in children’s services on a regular basis and were aware there remained shortcomings, but the board was re-assured that the managers at the time were addressing these.
“Ofsted found the board acted appropriately when challenging the information it had, after revealing the board had only been given a partial picture of the position.”