News Brief: Second report of the Munro Review

The Munro Review of Child Protection: Interim Report, The Child’s Journey, the second report of Professor Eileen Munro's independent child protection review, has been published today.

"In recent history," says Professor Munro, "the child protection system has focused on imposing and meeting managerial targets and regulations, and in doing so has forgotten that the needs of children should be at its core. My interim report discusses some early recommendations and considerations for reform, covering areas such as inspection, performance monitoring, and referral and assessment which I will be developing in my review’s final phase."

I have not read the report (which stretches to 113 pages - goodness knows how long the final report will be), but here are a few points from the 'Executive summary':
  • The review is recommending that announced Ofsted inspections should end and that instead unannounced inspections should be given a broader remit.
  • The review is recommending that Ofsted evaluations of SCRs should end in due course.
  • The 'core guidance' Working Together to Safeguard Children, which is now 55 times longer than it was in 1974 (!), is to be reduced, by separating out statutory guidance from professional advice.
  • The review is working with the Family Justice Review to explore how local authorities can contribute to reducing unnecessary delays in the child’s journey through the courts and care proceedings.
The final report of the Munro Review, including recommendations to Government, is due to be published in April.