Ofsted: Coventry children's services 'inadequate'

Vulnerable children are left at risk of harm in Coventry according to a critical report into the city's children's services department by inspectors, two years after the death of schoolboy Daniel Pelka.

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Children's services still 'inadequate' after Pelka death

Children's services in Coventry, which promised rapid improvement after the death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka, remain "inadequate", according to Ofsted inspectors.

The services were heavily criticised after Daniel died of a head injury in March 2012 as a result of a campaign of abuse by his mother and stepfather, who have both been jailed.

Six months after a serious case review, a three-week Ofsted inspection found caseloads remain too high at Coventry Children's Services and up to 4,500 children are "at risk of harm", as ITV News reporter Sejal Karia reports:

DfE: Actions needed in Coventry after critical report

The Department for Education will consider what further actions are needed to ensure "vulnerable children in Coventry are sufficiently protected" following the publication of another critical report of children's services in the city.

A Dfe spokesman said the measures introduced at Coventry City Council in the wake of four-year-old Daniel Pelka's death were "simply not good enough".

"While we accept securing sustainable improvement takes time, today's report shows that the pace of change in Coventry has simply not been good enough.

"We will now consider what further actions are needed to ensure all vulnerable children in Coventry are sufficiently protected," the spokesman added.

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'Rapid improvement' in children's services needed

Coventry Council has promised a "rapid improvement" in children's services after Ofsted branded the department as "inadequate".

An additional £5.6 million is being invested in the service in light of the report.

George Duggins, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, said the report was not a reflection on hard-working staff but on the ever-increasing workload:

There is no hiding from the fact that the report’s overall findings are disappointing but many of the problems we face, particularly in the front line of children social care, is down to the fact of the unprecedented volume of work which continues to increase.

We have already responded to this challenge by adding another team of social workers and we have funding to add more as part of the additional £5.6 million because as a council safeguarding is one our highest priorities.

Council under scrutiny since death of Daniel Pelka

The death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka placed Coventry Council under scrutiny after it was found key opportunities to protect him were missed.

The four-year-old died in March 2012. Credit: West Midlands Police

The schoolboy died in March 2012 after enduring a campaign of cruelty at the hands of his mother and her partner who starved and abused him.

The four-year-old was denied food, "imprisoned" in a locked room and force-fed salt.

Daniel's mother Magdelena Luczak and her partner Mariusz Krezolek were jailed for at least 30 years after being found guilty of Daniel's murder last August.

A serious case review published in September concluded that Daniel was "invisible" in the eyes of health professionals, school staff and social workers.

Coventry children's services branded 'inadequate'

Daniel Pelka died in March 2012 after a sustained campaign of abuse at the hands of his mother and her partner. Credit: West Midlands Police

Children's services in Coventry have been labelled as "inadequate" in a highly critical report published by Ofsted two years after the death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka.

The schoolboy died in March 2012 after being subjected to a sustained campaign of abuse by his mother and her partner.

A 46 per cent increase in workloads over the last two years mean caseloads for workers are too high, the report said.

The report was based on a three-week inspection by Ofsted earlier this year.

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