The number of serious case reviews conducted into the death or serious harm of a child rose more than 50% in 2013-14.
Statistics published by Ofsted revealed that between April 2013 and March 2014, 143 serious case reviews (SCRs) were carried out by Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) – a 54% increase on the 93 serious case reviews initiated the previous year.
This was revealed as part of Ofsted’s publication of the number of serious incident notifications the body has received in the past year.
Local authorities are legally required to notify Ofsted in the event of a serious incident, which may lead to a SCR if a child died or sustained potentially life-threatening injuries through abuse or neglect or serious sexual abuse.
Councils must also report serious incidents if they raise issues about a council’s professional practice or are likely to attract media attention.
In total, 298 incidents were reported by 103 councils to Ofsted in 2013-14, a rise from 231 incidents from 97 councils the previous year.
The report acknowledged: “This may reflect an improvement in the reporting of serious incidents rather than an increase in the number of incidents themselves.
Shockingly, the number of notifications due to incidents of serious harm more than doubled from the previous year, with local authorities reporting 135 incidents of this type compared to 61 the previous year.
The number of SCRs instigated due to an incident of serious harm also saw a dramatic rise, jumping to 69 in 2013-14 from 24 in 2012-13.