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Pelka 'Failings' Boss Gets Top Children's Role
The head of the children's services department that failed Daniel Pelka, the boy starved and beaten to death by his mother and stepfather, has been given a top job in charge of safeguarding youngsters.
Colin Green resigned as director of children's services at Coventry City Council at the end of last month after the murder trial revealed Daniel had been failed by all those who dealt with him.
However, it has now been disclosed that Mr Green, who had an annual salary of £124,295 in his role at Coventry, is to become the independent chairman of Tower Hamlets Safeguarding Children Board in London.
Geoffrey Robinson, the Labour MP for the area of Coventry where four-year-old Daniel met his tragic and unnecessary death, said the appointment was an "affront to public opinion".
The revelation comes after a serious case review found that key opportunities were missed to intervene in Daniel's case by the Coventry children's services team.
It found that Daniel had become "invisible" to the authorities who were supposed to protect him and that staff should have been "thinking the unthinkable" about what was really going on.
While it failed to pin the blame on the police, the school, or social services, it recommended 15 improvements the council's children services department should make.
Daniel died of a head injury in March 2012, after a systematic campaign of emotional and physical abuse by his mother Magdelena Luczak and his brutal stepfather Mariusz Krezolek, a former soldier.
He 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' lunch boxes and raided school bins for scraps at playtime.
Despite these signs, the serious case review report authors found that nobody had ever spoken to Daniel independently about his home life, nor acted decisively to intervene in his care.
Mr Robinson had called for the resignation of Mr Green but was told Mr Green was planning to retire.
The MP said he was "stunned" to find Mr Green was now working at top level safeguarding the well-being of children.
He has called on the chief executive of Coventry City Council to state whether the council provided him with a reference and what it knew of Mr Green's new role.
The children's safeguarding boards bring together representatives from health, education, social and children's services and other agencies responsible for protecting children.
A key role of such boards is to carry out serious case reviews whenever a child dies and there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect.
A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council refused to give details of how much Mr Green was being paid in his new role, saying: "Details of individual employment terms and conditions are not generally issued into the public domain by the council."
Mr Robinson said he would also raise the appointment with ministers.
He said: "Like myself, I am sure the whole of Coventry will be stunned to learn that Colin Green, former director of children's services at Coventry City Council has gone off to become chair of the safeguarding children board at Tower Hamlets.
"This is a clear example of senior civil servants operating their own network for the benefit of themselves, at the expense of front-line staff who have faced the real challenges on a daily basis."
The Department for Education and Coventry City Council said the appointment was a matter for Tower Hamlets Council.
Tower Hamlets said Mr Green had been appointed by a multi-agency panel in June with all such decisions "based on the merits of each applicant".
All agencies involved said they had learned lessons to avoid another case like Daniel's happening again.
Luczak and Krezolek were jailed for a minimum of 30 years each after being found guilty of Daniel's murder at Birmingham Crown Court in July.