Chief exec-led scru­tiny board ‘not to blame’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

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.”

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