School criticised in Serious Case Review into Northampton family says it has taken action to improve

The Northampton school at the centre of a special case review launched after the death of a baby says it has made improvements to safeguarding procedures.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 7:53 am
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2016, 8:07 am
Chairman of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children's Board, Keith Makin, with head of communications at Northamptonshire Police, Richard Edmondson at a press conference at Franklin's Gardens today.

Yesterday, a damning report into the death of a nine-week-old baby from co-sleeping with his Northampton mother has criticised professionals for not spotting signs of neglect in the family.

The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) published the findings of an investigation following the death of a baby who had been sleeping with his mother on the sofa.

The nine-week-old, referred to as ‘child R’, died on December 20, 2014, when his mother awoke to find her baby unresponsive.

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The Serious Case Review was announced during a press conference this morning.

An open verdict was recorded at an inquest in October.

But the death prompted a Serious Case Review, which looked at the actions of how a number of organisations including Northamptonshire County Council and the NHS interacted with the child’s family.

And at a press conference, Keith Makin, chair of the NSCB board, criticised a “failure of leadership” and in particular said the school did not act appropriately after seeing signs of neglect in the baby’s older siblings.

In a statement issued tothe Chronicle & Echo, the school where the neglected siblings are taught says it has taken steps to protect children following the serious case review investigation.

The Serious Case Review was announced during a press conference this morning.

The school, which was not named in the report, issued a statement to the Chron yesterday.

It read: “We welcome the recommendations made in this review, which have led us to make improvements to safeguarding procedures within the school.

“Significant steps have been taken since to improve those procedures.

“With the leadership of the new headteacher, the school leadership team have undertaken a full, independent safeguarding audit and have instigated an overall multi-agency action plan to further safeguard children at the school.”

Other outcomes have been a Safer Sleeping awareness campaign to highlight the huge risk posed by parents co-sleeping with their baby.”

Professionals must now all use the Northamptonshire Neglect assessment tool in every case of neglect.

The report calls for a review of training to ensure teachers know how to spot signs of neglect. And it says all professionals should be aware of guidance on concealed pregnancies and the emotional damage cause by persistent lice.