Daniel Pelka: New report to look into why child protection workers failed to intervene in tragic case of boy beaten to death

Four-year-old died of a head injury in March last year after a campaign of abuse by his mother and stepfather

A new report will be published into exactly why child protection workers failed to intervene in the case of a four-year-old beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.

A safeguarding children board is digging deeper into a breakdown of the system of social workers, health professionals, teaching staff and police in the case of schoolboy Daniel Pelka, it has been confirmed.

It follows a written request for more work by the board from children and families minister Edward Timpson, following its publication of a damning 76-page serious case review into the boy's death.

In his letter to the Coventry board, Mr Timpson said: "Now these failures have been set out publicly in your report, people will want to know why they occurred."

He added the case review uncovered "a number of basic practice failures" and said that analysis of the issues was "essential".

Mr Timpson urged the board to look in particular at why information was not properly recorded, why it was not shared between agencies, and why four assessments by child social workers failed to identify the risk to Daniel.

He has also asked for more detail on what oversight was employed on the risk assessments.

The minister said answers were needed not only to establish accountability but because they were "critical to improving child protection practice across the country".

Daniel died of a head injury in March last year after a campaign of abuse by his mother Magdelena Luczak and former soldier and stepfather Mariusz Krezolek, both of whom were jailed for a minimum of 30 years for his murder following a trial this year.

Amy Weir, chairman of the Coventry Safeguarding Children Board, said a "brief" report containing the further analysis would be published.

"We have provided a full and detailed response to the minister, as requested at the end of last week, about our plans for further analysis of the serious case review," she said.

"A further brief publication will be written over the next few weeks to complete this next phase of the review.

"We are now totally focused on ensuring all agencies deliver and complete the actions arising from the recommendations in the serious case review and welcome the minister's continuing interest in this work."

Daniel died after months of physical and emotional abuse at the family home in Coventry.

The boy was beaten, suffering a broken arm which needed hospital treatment, and arrived at school one day with two black eyes.

He was also kept locked in a box room at home, fed salt and starved to the point where he stole food from other pupils' lunchboxes and raided school bins for scraps at play time.

Despite these signs, the serious case review report authors found no one had ever spoken to Daniel independently about his home life or acted decisively to intervene in his care.

It also found the child protection agencies were taken in by the "web of lies" spun by Daniel's mother and stepfather - both originally from Poland - and should instead have been "thinking the unthinkable" about what was going on.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We have received a response from Coventry Safeguarding Children Board setting out their plans for further analysis of the serious case review, and their timetable for this work.

"We look forward to receiving the findings."

PA

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried