Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 12:51 UK

Abuse case reviews 'inadequate'

Ofsted monitors child protection as well as education.

Nearly a third of reviews of cases where children in England have been abused or killed were "inadequately" carried out, the watchdog Ofsted said.

Inspectors said 302 serious case reviews were carried out between July 2007 and September 2009 by the local bodies that oversee child protection.

They considered 95 of these reviews to be inadequate. Just 80 were rated good.

Serious case reviews are triggered when a child dies, and abuse or neglect are suspected to be a factor.

These reviews are carried out by local safeguarding children's boards, which oversee the work of various agencies involved in child welfare, including social services, education, health services and the police.

Ofsted automatically carries out its own review of these inquiries and has said in the past that lessons were not being learnt from the cases it had examined.

It has also said the reports take too long to produce.

Child protection has been under the spotlight following the failure of social workers in the London borough of Haringey to prevent the abuse and death of 17-month-old Baby Peter in 2007.

In its annual report last November, Ofsted said said some staff were not equipped to respond to signs of abuse and neglect.

The watchdog's chief inspector said too many vulnerable children were still being let down by the system.

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