Assault on two boys in Edlington was preventable says SCR

The violent assault of two boys by two brothers in Edlington was a preventable incident, according to the serious case review on the matter.

Doncaster Council has published an executive summary of the serious case review (SCR). A council spokesman has confirmed this is the only part of the SCR that will be released, despite the judge’s request for full disclosure.

However, interim director of Doncaster’s children’s services Nick Jarman said he agreed with findings of the SCR.

“When I cam here in April last year at the time of the secretary of state’s intervention I found an organisation which was totally broken,” he said. “Frankly, valuable though it is, we did not need a serious case review to tell us what was broken about Doncaster children’s services and more importantly, what needed to be done to put them right.”

Jarman said all deficiencies identified in the SCR had been addressed by the department. He added that two good Ofsted inspections since the review showed that progress had been made.

The SCR said that while the extent of the brothers’ attack could not have been predicted, the perpetrators had shown “an escalating pattern of violence” over a period of several months and that there were “opportunities to intervene more effectively right up to the week before the assault”.

The panel pointed to a lack of planning and leadership within children’s services and bad case management as factors that could have prevented the case.

A reorganisation of services in 2005 also caused disruption to the delivery of core statutory services and that lines of accountability were insufficiently clear, the report said.

The brothers have been jailed for a minimum of five years and have been sent to a secure children’s home.

The leak of the full SCR to the BBC’s Newsnight is now subject to a police investigation and the case has reignited the debate around whether councils should have to publish SCRs in full.

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