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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Danielle: Council 'not to blame'
Danielle Reid
Danielle Reid was murdered by her mother's boyfriend
Social work officials who dealt with Danielle Reid and her family before the child's murder "followed proper procedures", a review has found.

Highland Council chief executive Arthur McCourt said he was satisfied with the actions of both school and social work staff who dealt with the case.

But he admitted that an internal review undertaken following Danielle's death had "flagged up" the need for improvements to policies and procedures and said these would be put into action.

Mr McCourt also announced that a further independent review would now be carried out.

Five-year-old Danielle had not been seen in the town since last October when her mother, Tracy Reid, withdrew her from school and told teachers the family was relocating to Manchester.

The child's body was discovered in January, dumped in the Caledonian Canal.

Review complete

Mr McCourt explained that the delay in finding out what had happened to Danielle occurred because her Inverness school was told she had gone to a school in England.

He confirmed that an internal management review covering all the contacts the council had with Danielle and her family - commissioned at the time of Danielle's death - had now been completed.

Danielle was not on any child protection register and there was no current contact with Danielle or the family at the time of her death
Arthur McCourt
Highland Council chief executive

He said: "As a result I am satisfied that council staff followed our own and national procedures in dealing with Danielle and her family.

"Danielle was not on any child protection register and there was no current contact with Danielle or the family at the time of her death.

"However, our own review flagged up improvements which can be made to policies, practices and procedures and action is being taken to introduce these."

Dr Jean Herbison, a consultant paediatrician with Yorkhill Hospital's Trust, will carry out an independent probe and report her findings in September.

Transfer 'trigger point'

As a result of Danielle's case, changes have been introduced by Highland Council regarding the transfer of pupils from one school to another.

A "trigger point" of 10 school days has been set when a school will contact social work services if they receive no confirmation of a pupil transfer.

The transfer issue is also one which is being examined by the Scottish Executive and Westminster so children moving between schools can be tracked more closely.

Highland Council convener, Alison Magee, said: "The council will work closely with partner agencies to minimise the likelihood of a tragedy of this kind happening again.

"The community as a whole must be vigilant and play their part in this process."




SEE ALSO:
Man admits girl's murder
20 Jun 03  |  Scotland
Brutal end to a short life
20 Jun 03  |  Scotland


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