'Missed chances' to help boy

A serious case review into the death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka found repeated failures by agencies set up to safeguard children's welfare but concluded nobody could have predicted his death at the hands of an abusive mother her partner.

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Same lessons on abuse are drawn 'time and time again'

The chief executive of Action for Children said the same lessons are being drawn from Serious Case Reviews "time and time again" following the deaths of abused and neglected children.

Dame Clare Tickell said people need to "be braver" when speaking out about their concerns over children's welfare.

Daniel Pelka.
Daniel Pelka was starved and beaten to death when he was four years old. Credit: Police Handout

Dame Clare said: "Daniel Pelka's story is shocking and tragic. Sadly, we know that his is not the only one, and that there are other children in desperate need of help right now.

"We need to be braver and make sure Daniel's legacy means a brighter future for other boys and girls like him."

Technology to help holistic approach to child protection

Dr Sharon Binyon, medical director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that improvements had been introduced, including better reporting of domestic violence, with school nurses and health visitors informed if any child is in the household.

When told that was common sense and people would question why such measures were not already in place, Dr Binyon replied: "We now have the benefit of being able to do that, put that on to the child's electronic record so that it is now available for anybody making that assessment."

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'Alliance of responsibility' needed after Pelka death

An "alliance of responsibility" should be established so "those people can be held accountable" if another child dies, the Labour MP for the constituency where Daniel Pelka died said.

Geoffrey Robinson, who represents Coventry North West, said the report published today into how Daniel fell through the net "did not solve problems" and that he wants to focus on "getting the system right".

More than 53,000 people sign 'Daniel's Law' petition

More than 53,000 people signed a petition launched calling for a new law forcing people who work with children to report suspected child abuse.

The signatures were handed to 10 Downing Street yesterday ahead of the publication of the Serious Case Review into Daniel Pelka's murder.

See more: 'Daniel's Law' petition given to Downing Street

The signature were handed in to Downing Street yesterday.
The signature were handed in to Downing Street yesterday. Credit: ITV News

Paula Barrow, a mother-of-two from Manchester, launched the petition on the Change.org website after hearing about Daniel's abuse and subsequent death.

Mrs Barrow said she was "shocked and deeply affected" by the case and has called for a new law removing "uncertainty" over how professionals should act.

What is a Serious Case Review?

A Serious Case Review report has been published into the death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka.

According to the Government's "Working Together to Safeguard Children" guide, a Serious Case Review is conducted:

  • When a child dies from abuse or neglect
  • It is undertaken by the Local Safeguarding Children Board
  • The aim is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons to improve the way they work individually and collectively to safeguard children

Pelka case review makes 15 recommendations

The Serious Case Review into Daniel Pelka's death has made 15 recommendations for changes to current practice and processes, joint working and training across agencies.

Those recommendations include:

  • Improvements in the identification and reporting of domestic abuse in families
  • Better reporting by schools of injuries to children and any welfare concerns
  • More rigour in social work assessments, recording and challenging parents

The report, published by Coventry Safeguarding Children Board, also highlights the need for more health visitors in Coventry and the importance of health professionals - such as paediatricians - considering child abuse when they assess the welfare of children.

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Daniel Pelka's story 'will haunt every head teacher'

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has defended the teachers at Daniel Pelka's school saying that they: "acted properly on the information available."

Daniel Pelka's story will haunt the thoughts of every head teacher. It is an appalling tragedy.

Heads cannot prevent all human evil without treating every parent as a potential criminal but they will always ask whether they could do more and always seek to learn when things go wrong.

NAHT firmly believes that the leaders and staff of Little Heath acted properly on the information available and within the limits of the powers they had been given. It is extremely important to remember that no amount of vigilance by a school can compensate for the wilful misdirection of a deceptive and manipulative individual. Daniel was murdered by his mother and her partner, not by his school.

Pelka abuse 'a rare event' making it difficult to spot

The campaign of abuse against four-year-old Daniel Pelka was "very different" to a usual pattern of domestic violence, the author of a report into his death has said.

Ron Lock told Daybreak: "Most abuse that I come across is the result of parental stress and inadequacy. This was pre-meditated abuse, which is very rare".

Child protection services "have changed" and the number of referrals have increased, Mr Lock added.

Read more: 'Missed chances' to help boy

Coventry council 'did not do enough to protect Daniel'

Coventry City Council chief executive Martin Reeves said:

Daniel was murdered by the two people who should have loved and protected him most, but all organisations in Coventry involved in Daniel's short life now have to face up to their responsibilities and the part they played in the missed opportunities that could have protected Daniel.

We are sorry we did not do enough to protect Daniel.

The report makes clear that the sharing of information and communications between all agencies was not robust enough and no-one fitted together the jigsaw of what was really happening to Daniel.

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