[holding answer 3 March 2010]: Ofsted published a report of an inspection of safeguarding and looked after children's services on 26 February which judged Calderdale metropolitan borough council's safeguarding services to be “inadequate”. After meeting with representatives of the council I have decided that the council should be issued with an improvement notice; that an external chair should be appointed to the Improvement Board established by the council; and, to offer some additional support to ensure that these services improve quickly and sustainably.
[holding answer 22 March 2010]: Government offices do not have a role in granting extensions for the publication of SCRs. However, paragraph 8.15 of the statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2006) (as amended), which has now been superseded, said that
“there should be a discussion with the Government Office for the region to agree a timescale for completion of SCRs”
The revised “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2010) is clear that, where it emerges that a SCR cannot be completed within the six-month time scale, the LSCB is responsible for revising its timetable and immediately consulting with the relevant Government office. Where a LSCB decides an extension is necessary, it should provide the Government office with a revised project plan and an update on progress, which includes action already taken and an explanation for the extension. The role of the Government office includes providing advice, support and challenge to LSCBs.
The following table gives details of SCRs that were in progress at the time where one or more extensions were granted between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009. The SCRs in the table were not necessarily commissioned within the same period.
Region Number East 19 East Midlands 6 London 14 North East 9 North West 36 South East 23 South West 12 West Midlands 14 Yorkshire and Humber 35
Yorkshire and Humber
[holding answer 22 March 2010]: The figures requested are not recorded centrally.
The statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2010) sets out the requirements for SCR overview reports and executive summaries. Their length will vary according to the different features and levels of complexity of individual cases. “Working Together” does, however, include a template for overview reports and for executive summaries. The latter was added to the guidance in March 2010 to help ensure that each executive summary provides a full, thorough account of the SCR and includes the actions to be taken.