Birmingham Children’s Social Care chief on changes

The Director of Children’s Social Care at Birmingham City Council says he will ask for more money for the department if it is needed.

Colin Tucker was speaking after an Ofsted inspection carried out in June 2010 described parts of Birmingham’s safeguarding service as “inadequate.”

It was published just days before the Serious Case Review into the death of Khyra Ishaq in 2008.

That review looked at what lessons could be learned.

Serious case review

Seven year old Khyra died after being starved. Her mother and her partner admitted her manslaughter.

The independent Serious Case Review, which was commissioned by Birmingham City Council’s Safeguarding Children Board following Khyra’s death, has now been made public.

The purpose of the review was to find out what lessons could be learned, how organisations and professionals worked together and identify what needed to change as a result.


In a statement after the court case into Khyra’s death in February 2010, Hilary Thompson, Chairman of the Safeguarding Children Board said: “I am committed to working to improve child protection arrangements in Birmingham and learning lessons from such tragic events”.

During an outside broadcast from Handsworth, the area where Khyra Ishaq had lived, BBC WM breakfast presenter Phil Upton asked about “learning lessons” and what was being done to prevent more tragedies.

Speaking then Claude Knights, the director of children’s charity Kidscape said: “It’s no good having just another thumping report landing on peoples’ desks, this has to change practice.”

There have been other reports.

An Ofsted report that had been compiled before Khyra Ishaq’s death and published in 2008 judged children’s safeguarding in Birmingham to be ‘inadequate’.

The Council ordered an internal scrutiny inquiry and the Government issued an Improvement Notice in February 2009.

The latest Ofsted inspection published on 16 July 2010 again found parts of Birmingham’s safeguarding services as “inadequate.”


Inspectors said: “Although some improvements have been recently made in some key areas by social care services and by partner agencies, including most of those areas required by the Government Improvement Notice that was issued in February 2009, some key and important deficiencies remain.”

Speaking after that Ofsted inspection Colin Tucker, who became Director of Children’s Social Care in 2009, told BBC WM that their resolve to turn things round had “never been higher.”

“I think this [Ofsted] report will give even more momentum to speeding up some of the things that we’ve already begun put in place,” he added.

Mr Tucker told BBC WM special correspondent Steve Dyson that he would ask for more money for the service if necessary.