Members of the public to be appointed to child protection boards

Ed Balls, the Children’s Secretary, will announce the move on Wednesday as part of an overhaul of child protection rules recommended by an independent review.

10-month-old Baby P, now named as Peter, was beaten to death at home in 2007 despite being well-known to social services in Haringey, north London.

Following his death, Lord Laming earlier this year reviewed child protection rules and said ministers, council chiefs, social work managers, NHS staff and police officers all need to do more to safeguard vulnerable children.

Responding to that report today, Mr Balls will say that the public should get a new role in overseeing child protection work, to put social workers and managers under greater scrutiny.

Mr Balls said: “Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility, it is not just the job of social workers or the Government.

Enabling members of the public to be part of local safeguarding children boards will mean that child protection arrangements will no longer be behind closed doors but part of the community they are trying to protect. “

Mr Balls will also outline the new role of Sir Roger Singleton as Chief Advisor on the Safety of Children.

Sir Roger will report annually to Parliament and work with an expert group of senior children’s professionals to advise the Government.

Members he has already appointed include NSPCC chief executive Andrew Flanagan and Ofsted director Roger Shippam as well as representatives from the NHS and the police.

He and the expert group will work with a new Government Safeguarding Delivery Unit to ensure improvements are made across the country.

Baby P’s “stepfather” was last week convicted of raping a two-year-old girl. Like Baby P she was on Haringey council’s at risk register.