14th Dec 2021: In response to the Star Hobson case, a Department for Education spokesperson said:
“Star’s death is deeply disturbing. It is a reminder of why we have taken action to strengthen how safeguarding agencies work together locally to protect children at risk of abuse or neglect – and why we will never hesitate to take robust steps to prevent tragic cases like this happening.
“There are clear systems in place to report serious incidents, which in Star’s case led to a Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review. This is due to conclude in January and will mean its learnings can feed into the national review of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death commissioned this week by the Secretary of State.
“In the months since Star’s death we have also appointed a Commissioner to assess Bradford’s capability and capacity to improve. The Secretary of State met with him urgently on Monday 13 December to discuss the progress of his work and whether the council should retain control of their children’s services, ahead of his full report in January. On seeing that we will not hesitate to remove service control if that is what’s necessary to drive rapid improvements.”
“We have also commissioned a separate, wide-ranging review following Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death to look at what further national improvements need to be made by safeguarding agencies that everything possible is done to protect vulnerable children at risk of neglect or abuse and prevent any possible tragic cases from happening in future.
“National lessons must be learned from cases like this, which is why the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel also reviews the most serious or complex cases on a national level.”
The criteria for a national review is set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 .
Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel: national review following the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
15th Dec 2021: Correspondence between the Secretary of State for Education and the panel setting out the terms of reference for the national review following the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
Applies to England
Letter to the Secretary of State for Education from Annie Hudson, chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel
PDF, 102 KB, 2 pages
Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s terms of reference for a national review into the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
PDF, 102 KB, 1 page
Letter from the Education Secretary to Annie Hudson on the terms of reference for the national review into the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
PDF, 176 KB, 1 page
Letters between the Chair of the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and the Secretary of State for Education.
The panel’s letter announces a national child safeguarding practice review into the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. It also gives further details about the review including:
- terms of reference
- details of panel members carrying it out
The Secretary of State for Education’s letter welcomes the terms of reference for the review.
Education Committee to question Solihull Council over death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
5th Dec 2021: The Education Committee is planning a session with representatives of Solihull Council about the killing of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin was jailed for 29 years last week for murder and numerous child cruelty offences, while his father Thomas Hughes was given 21 years for manslaughter. A court heard how Arthur was tortured and killed by the pair after social workers found ‘no safeguarding concerns’.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed a national review into the six-year-old’s death to be led by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel. The Government has separately commissioned four inspectorates, covering social care, health, the police and probation services to undertake an urgent inspection of the safeguarding agencies in Solihull to whom Arthur was known.
Representatives from Solihull Council will appear for a session before the Committee on 11th January. The Committee will separately question the Children’s Commissioner on this and other matters. Further details will be released later.
Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:
“The appalling murder of six-year-old Arthur raises serious and urgent questions about child safety and the role of local authority children’s services. Lockdowns and school closures since last year will have exacerbated the safeguarding risks faced by many children and this shocking killing serves as a tragic reminder of the importance of doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable.
“While the Government’s review investigates, our session will examine what went so badly wrong and what needs to urgently change – both locally and more widely – if we are to prevent such a distressing case ever happening again.”
National review and local inspection launched following murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
5th Dec 2021: A major review into the circumstances leading up to murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has been launched by the Government to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with him in the months before he died.
The Government has separately commissioned four inspectorates, covering social care, health, police and probation to undertake an urgent inspection of the safeguarding agencies in Solihull to whom Arthur was known.
As part of this inspection, all the agencies tasked with protecting children at risk of abuse and neglect in Solihull will be subject to a Joint Targeted Area Inspection to consider their effectiveness and advise on where improvements must be made.
In addition to this, the independent, national review will identify the lessons that must be learnt from Arthur’s case for the benefit of other children elsewhere in England, to be led by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.
Together, these two actions will mean a deep, independent look at Arthur’s case, and the national lessons to be learnt; and a joined-up inspection of how all the local agencies involved are working, including how they are working together, to keep children safe nationally and locally.
The steps announced today (5 Dec) include:
- Commissioning a Joint Targeted Area Inspection, led jointly by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, and HM Inspectorate of Probation. It will consider where improvements are needed by all the agencies tasked with protecting vulnerable children in Solihull, including in how they work together.
- A national review, led by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, toprovide additional support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership. This will effectively ‘upgrade’ the existing local review, launched shortly after Arthur’s death in June 2020 and paused while the court case continued.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:
“Arthur’s murder has shocked and appalled the nation. I am deeply distressed by this awful case and the senseless pain inflicted on this poor boy, who has been robbed of the chance to live his life.
“I have taken immediate action and asked for a joint inspection to consider where improvements are needed by all the agencies tasked with protecting children in Solihull, so that we can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to protect other children and prevent such evil crimes.
“Given the enormity of this case, the range of agencies involved and the potential for its implications to be felt nationally, I have also asked Annie Hudson, chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, to work with leaders in Solihull to deliver a single, national review of Arthur’s death to identify where we must learn from this terrible case.
“We are determined to protect children from harm and where concerns are raised we will not hesitate to take urgent and robust action. We will not rest until we have the answers we need.”
Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretarys, said:
“Arthur’s murder has horrified the nation – it is right that the Government conducts a national inquiry alongside the local safeguarding review.
“Ministers should set out the scope of this review in full as soon as possible.
“No stone should be left unturned in uncovering why Arthur was allowed to be subjected to such appalling cruelty, and to ensure that no other vulnerable child will ever be the victim of such a monstrous crime.”
The national review takes into account the significance and scale of the circumstances of Arthur’s murder, allowing findings to be disseminated around the country to improve practice and identify the lessons that must be learnt. It replaces and builds on the original Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review – previously known as Serious Case Reviews – which is overseen by safeguarding leaders in a local area.
Over the next few days the Department for Education will work with both the National Panel and the Solihull Partnership to agree a timeline for publication of the national review, as well as confirming the full scope of the Joint Targeted Area Inspection with the agencies involved.
Since 2010, the Government has established stronger multi-agency working, putting a shared and equal duty on police, council and health services in local areas to work more effectively together in protecting and promoting the welfare of vulnerable children. An independent review of children’s social care is ongoing and is due to report next year.
Anyone who sees or suspects child abuse, or is worried about a child known to them, can report concerns to their local children’s services or by contacting the government-supported NSPCC helpline, which is for adults or practitioners concerned about a child or young person.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in