Doncaster torture report

Weaknesses remain in child protection services at a council which was heavily criticised after two boys tortured and sexually humiliated two other youngsters, according to a new report by Lord Carlile.

Live updates

Gove: Vulnerable children should be taken into care more quickly

More children should be taken into care more quickly to rescue them from " a life of soiled nappies and scummy baths, chaos and hunger, hopelessness and despair," Michael Gove said.

The Education Secretary said too many children were living in "physical and moral squalor," being allowed to stay with neglectful or abusive parents for too long.

I firmly believe more children should be taken into care more quickly and that too many children are allowed to stay too long with parents whose behaviour is unacceptable.

I want social workers to be more assertive with dysfunctional parents, courts to be less indulgent of poor parents, and the care system to expand to deal with the consequences.

Advertisement

Gove: Situation in Doncaster is 'unacceptable'

In a speech in London Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

Anyone reading both reports will appreciate that the problems Doncaster faces are not amenable to a quick fix. Nor is there any single individual - or group - who we can say are alone responsible for the problems Doncaster faces. But the situation is unacceptable, and needs radical change and improvement.

Doncaster's child protection services deemed inadequate

The Ofsted report found that all areas of Doncaster's child protection services were inadequate.

The report said Doncaster could not be confident that all children known to the children and young people's services were safe.

In too many cases, professional practice was poor, management oversight ineffective and risk to children not identified or progressed.

Brutal attack on two young boys prompted report

  • The brutal attack on an 11-year-old and a nine-year-old was by two brothers, aged 10 and 11, in Edlington, South Yorkshire, in 2009.
  • The brothers lured their victims to a secluded spot and subjected them to 90 minutes of violence and sexual humiliation.
  • The victims, who are uncle and nephew, were strangled, hit with bricks, made to eat nettles, stripped and forced to sexually abuse each other.
  • The attackers were locked up in 2010 for a minimum of five years.
  • A serious case review concluded the attack was "a preventable incident" and identified "more than 30 opportunities that could, with different and clearer judgment and action have reduced the harm suffered by (the brothers) and their harm to others."

Reports are 'a major opportunity to up our game'

The offices of Doncaster Council, in South Yorkshire. Credit: PA Wire

Director of the children and young people's service Chris Pratt said Doncaster Council "must do better to improve services".

He added: "We are using these reports as a major opportunity to up our game and are determined to rejuvenate our improvement plan to speedily put in place the changes that will provide maximum protection for all our children and young people."

Advertisement

Council aware 'progress hasn't yet come far enough'

It is clear that we have not yet fully recovered the systematically broken services that we previously had, and as Ofsted says, features of that systematic failure remain today.

The reports do acknowledge progress has been made - and Lord Carlile's reporting states Doncaster is not faced with the shambolic situation of early 2009 - but I'm acutely aware our progress hasn't yet come far enough.

– Chris Pratt, Doncaster Council's director of the children and young people's service

'Weaknesses' remain in child protection services

Weaknesses remain in child protection services at a council which was heavily criticised after two boys tortured and sexually humiliated two other youngsters, according to a new report by Lord Carlile.

I found that Doncaster today is not faced with the shambolic situation of early 2009.

However, there remain weaknesses, which have been highlighted by the consequences of a severely critical report following an Ofsted inspection in October 2012 of the arrangements in Doncaster for the protection of children.

– Lord Carlile

Doncaster Council reports due to be published

Doncaster Council, which 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 made the comments ahead of the publication of two reports later which are expected to be highly critical of services in the South Yorkshire town.

The first was ordered by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove in March following the publication of the full serious case review into the brutal attack on an 11-year-old and a nine-year-old by two brothers, aged 10 and 11, in Edlington, South Yorkshire, in 2009.

Mr Gove said this report into the background to the incident did not "meet his expectations", and that it showed the current system of serious case reviews was "failing".

He asked Lord Carlile "to carry out a further independent review of the issues and the action taken and improvements made".

The Carlile Report is due to be published this morning along with the latest report on child protection in Doncaster following an unannounced 10-day inspection last month by Ofsted.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports