Rise in number of serious incidents involving children reported to Ofsted

Other statistics show a small increase in looked-after children in children's homes being placed out of their local authority area

The number of serious incidents involving children rose sharply last year, Ofsted figures have shown.

The watchdog was notified of 385 serious incidents involving children in 2014-15, a 29% increase on 2013-14.

More local authorities reported incidents last year, the data showed; 117 notified Ofsted in the year to 31 March 2015, compared to 103 the year before.

Local authorities must report to Ofsted if an incident affecting a child is serious enough that it may lead to a serious case review, if it involves a child death, if there are concerns about professional practice, or if it is likely to attract media attention.

The proportion of serious incidents involving sexual exploitation or abuse by an unrelated person rose in 2014-15 to 31.3%, compared to 25.9% the year before. The total number of these incidents almost doubled from 35 in 2013-14 to 61 this past year.

The killing of a child or non-accidental injury caused by a parent or carer was the most common cause of death notified to Ofsted.

Looked-after children statistics

More statistics released by Ofsted today show a small rise in the number of looked-after children in children’s homes being placed out of their local authority area. At 31 March 2014, 43% of children in children’s homes were placed within the boundary of their local authority, compared to 45% a year earlier.

Children in all placement types had lived in a placement longer than the previous year, the figures show. At 31 March 2013, one in four children had been living in the same place for less than three months, but at the same point in 2014 it had dropped to one in five.

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