40 academics sign letter over child protection concerns

A group of academics has said that child protection is far too important to be exposed to the "fickleness and failings" of private sector organisations

Concern over private providers for child protection

A letter signed by 37 academics asserts that private providers will allow authorities to "harness third-party expertise" and "stimulate new approaches to securing improvements" for safeguarding services outside "traditional hierarchies".

In their letter, the 37 academics wrote: "England has one of the most successful child protection systems in the world.

This is based on strong accountability, stability, continuity, good local partnership working across professionals and agencies, and with experienced and committed professionals and leadership.The intention that private sector organisations such as G4S, Serco, Atos and others should be able to run child protection services causes considerable concern.

Their track record elsewhere has hardly been unblemished in providing Olympics security, over-claiming payments for tagging offenders, misreporting on GP out-of hours contracts, and delaying and denying disability benefits.

– A letter signed by 37 academics

A spokeswoman at the Department for Education said: "We want to improve the quality and efficiency of children's social care."

40 academics sign letter over child protection concerns

A group of academics has said that child protection is far too important to be exposed to the "fickleness and failings" of private sector organisations

Almost 40 senior social services academics signed a letter Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/Press Association Images

Almost 40 senior social services academics, led by professor Ray Jones, of Kingston University, signed a letter published in The Guardian expressing their concern that children's social work services in England, including child protection, could be "opened up to the market and without regulation".

A Department for Education consultation paper published last month says that enabling local authorities to outsource children's social services will encourage innovation and improve outcomes for at-risk youngsters, the Guardian reported.

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