James Forsyth

Publishing the serious case review in the Edlington case is the best way to prevent more awful mistakes

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The Edlington case is shocking and depressing to think about. But I would urge you to watch Gavin Esler’s interview of Ed Balls on Newsnight where he challenged Balls over his reasons for not publishing the full case review. Newsnight, who were leaked a copy of the full case review in the Edlington case, pressed Balls on why the full report was not being published when the summary was misleading and did not highlight some of the biggest problems. Balls, as the government does whenever it is challenged on this point, invoked the support of the NSPC, Lord Laming (whose record, as Iain Martin points out, isn't that great) and various other members of the establishment. But the fact is that publishing the summaries, as Esler pointed out, has not proved sufficient to have the lessons learned from other awful mistakes by child services in the region.

Publishing these serious case reviews, obviously with names blocked out where necessary, gives us the best chance of making the bureaucracy correct its mistakes. We need the whole truth not an executive summary of it.