Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Little Ted's nursery abuse case review delayed

Little Ted's
The private nursery was closed when the abuse of children came to light

A serious case review into child abuse at Little Ted's Nursery has been delayed until the end of March, Plymouth City Council has confirmed.

Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board announced the review days after Vanessa George, 39, who worked at the nursery, was accused of sexual assault in June.

She pleaded guilty to the charges and is due to be sentenced on 15 December.

Chairman of the board, Jim Gould, said the delay was linked to the continuing criminal proceedings.

"Interviews with people involved in the case have been delayed until after the criminal proceedings have been completed," Mr Gould said in a statement.

'Lessons to learn'

"We are working towards a deadline of the end of March 2010 for completion of the full serious case review."

Mr Gould said the timescale had been agreed with the Government Office South West and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

When the review was announced, the board said its aim was to determine what lessons could be learned by city agencies and should be completed in four to six months.

The DCSF said local safeguarding children boards were responsible for undertaking serious case reviews and sending them to Ofsted for evaluation.

"It is sometimes the case that it will not be possible to meet the normal timetable for completing a review as set out in guidance, for example if a case is particularly complicated or criminal proceedings are still under way," a spokesperson said.

Vanessa George
George has named some of the toddlers she abused at the nursery

George, of Plymouth, has also pleaded guilty to making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

In October she named some of the toddlers she abused, but police are still working to identify the victims.

Angela Allen, 39, from Nottingham, and Colin Blanchard, 39 from Rochdale, have also pleaded guilty to abuse charges and will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court alongside George.

When the abuse investigation began, a letter was sent out to every school in Plymouth saying a team had been set up by the Safeguarding Children Board to help children, parents and carers.

A telephone helpline staffed by social workers, health visitors and educational psychologists was also set up.



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SEE ALSO
Sentence date for nursery abuser
11 Nov 09 |  England
Review after nursery allegations
12 Jun 09 |  Devon
Nursery worker appears in court
11 Jun 09 |  Devon

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