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Learning and improvement


'Working Together to Safeguard Children' 2015 states that 'Professionals and organisations protecting children need to reflect on the quality of their services and learn from their own practice and that of others. Good practice should be shared so that there is a growing understanding of what works well. Conversely, when things go wrong there needs to be a rigorous, objective analysis of what happened and why, so that important lessons can be learnt and services improved to reduce the risk of future harm to children.'

Quality assurance and performance

SSCB's Quality Assurance and Performance sub-group has a comprehensive local framework for:

  • Monitoring and reporting performance
  • Reflecting audit and quality assurance activities
  • Extending the information reported to include intelligence gathered from partner organisations

An extended list of key performance indicators has been developed in order to include performance information that reflects:

  • SSCB's priorities for 2016-2017
  • The Children's Safeguarding Performance Information Framework (DfE, 2012)
  • Framework for the inspection of local authority arrangements for the protection of children (Ofsted, 2012/13)
  • Partnership working activity

A dashboard of performance data is presented to the board on a quarterly basis and themed to reflect the board's priorities.

Audit activity

SSCB adopted a tiered approach to audit in order to build a cumulative picture which focuses on practice, outcomes and compliance rather than just one-off snapshots. The SSCB approach is briefly outlined below:


For example, Section 11 audits - Section 11 of the Children Act (2004) imposes a duty on agencies to ensure that their safeguarding work complies with the requirements laid out in the statutory guidance "Making Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children".


This involves agencies evaluating how effectively services are embedding safeguarding practices and integrated working into the delivery of safeguarding children and is outcome focussed.

Oversight and analysis (multi-agency audits)

Themed deep-dive multi-agency audits. One multi-agency case file audit per quarter.

Notification of serious incidents and consideration of learning reviews

If a professional is concerned about the management of a case through which a child has come to harm, or remains at significant risk of harm and there are lessons that could be learnt with regards to working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, they can refer the case to the Learning and Improvement sub-group for consideration of a case review. Please visit the link Notification of Serious Incidents and Case Review Consideration Protocol for further details on how to refer a case for consideration of a review.

Serious case reviews

A serious case review is held when a child has either died or been seriously injured, and where those who know about the child’s circumstances believe that lessons could be learned.

There will be careful consideration of the circumstances surrounding the death, and what had happened to the child or their family prior to the incident. This means that not all child deaths result in a serious case review.

However, it's important to remember that the death of a child is always tragic, and we must take whatever steps we can to avoid a similar incident happening in the future.

The government provides advice and guidance about how to conduct a serious case review to all agencies working with children. These are contained in the "Working Together to Safeguard Children" document attached to this page.

The Learning and Improvement sub-group, which commissions and carries out serious case reviews is made up of partner agencies. The board also has its own procedures to guide people through the process in our child protection procedures.

Shropshire's learning and improvement case reviews

Shropshire's serious case reviews (SCRs)

Learning and improvement briefings

The following briefings offer a means of disseminating learning from national serious case reviews, local case reviews and any communications regarding new legislation and guidance for professionals and volunteers.