Salford kids’ home boss faces sack
THE man in charge of all council-run children’s homes in Salford is facing the sack after being accused of gross misconduct. Mike Kelly is due to attend a disciplinary hearing in the near future.
As revealed in the M.E.N in May, Mr Kelly is alleged to have failed to reveal to senior management that one of the homes had been given a poor inspection report last year.
But social services sources claimed he was being made a scapegoat after a turbulent 12 months for the council, in which its standards of care for children at risk have come under intense scrutiny.
Teams from watchdog Ofsted arrived unannounced to carry out inspections at three children’s homes in March this year and all were found to be unsatisfactory. Concerns were raised over insufficient training for staff, poor record keeping and facilities in the buildings.
But one of the three homes was also checked in September last year and again found to be unsatisfactory.
Mr Kelly, principal manager for inclusion services, allegedly did not alert the head of children’s services, Jill Baker.
The M.E.N has established that Ofsted sent a copy of the inspection report following the visit in September to Mr Kelly and to the manger of the home on October 21 last year.
No report was sent by Ofsted to Ms Baker.
Coun John Warmisham, children’s services spokesman, has said senior management were ‘mortified’ when the three homes were branded unsatisfactory.
He said that once the failings came to light, action was taken.
Today he said he was unable to comment further due to the pending disciplinary hearing.
However one source said: “Given that the council had had a poor report regarding child care earlier last year, and all hell broke loose, it is incredible top management didn’t know about the Ofsted visit and report.
“It would appear Mr Kelly is being made a scapegoat.”
Last year the council was ordered by the government to take urgent action over ‘inadequate’ support for children at risk from neglect.
Last month it was revealed that a murdered toddler was let down 12 times by social workers in Salford. Demi Leigh Mahon, two, was the victim of a sadistic attack by disturbed teenager Karl McCluney, who had been left alone to look after her.
But social workers had been warned on a dozen occasions about Demi’s chaotic domestic life, raised by her mother in a drugs den in Eccles.
A review of the case confirmed failings but concluded that Demi’s death ‘could not have been anticipated and therefore could not have been avoided’.