Daniel Pelka Serious Case Review (SCR)
What can schools learn from the
case of Daniel Pelka?
Daniel Pelka was a four-year boy from the West Midlands who died in March 2012 from an acute head injury. In August 2013, Daniel’s mother and stepfather were convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison. For at least six months before his death, Daniel suffered from starvation, neglect and physical abuse. The mother and stepfather had a long-standing history of domestic violence and substance misuse. Daniel had two siblings, known in court as ‘Anna’ and ‘Adam’ (not their real names and their gender may have been changed). At the time of Daniel’s death, Anna was 7 and Adam was 1 year old.
Key Recommendations for schools from the Serious Case Review (SCR) include:
Headteachers should ensure:
- they regularly discuss children who give cause for concern
- other agencies share their concerns and knowledge with schools
- that children’s views are sought and noted
- all contacts with parents/external agencies are logged
- letters of concern are sent directly to a named professional
This case study considers how safeguarding in schools could be improved and looks at this case from a school perspective. The study aims to reflect on what the school knew at the time and not what could be understood with hindsight from other agencies or from the subsequent police investigation.
This report draws on information contained in the Serious Case Review (SCR) by Coventry Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) which was published in September 2013. Additional information has been sourced from court reports. The report documents the chronology of the school’s actions and the information they had in the six months he was a pupil. The perspective of other agencies can be found in the SCR.
This Special Report includes:
- Chronology of incidents and events
- Issues for the school
- Analysis for the Serious Case Review
- Recommendations for Schools
- Key Points for Safeguarding Policies
- Further Points for Learning
- Creating Recording Systems
- Sample Concern Form
- Sample Chronology Sheet
- Sample Observation Form