Secretary of State's response to verdicts in the Khyra Ishaq case25 February 2010
What happened to Khyra Ishaq and the other children involved in this case was tragic and will shock and appal everyone who reads or hears about her terrible death. It is very hard for any of us to understand how adults could do this to children in their care.
There are clearly serious questions to be answered about what local services and professionals were doing in the months before this tragedy took place. As the trial has shown, it is now clear that concerns about these children were not acted upon effectively and it is right that a Serious Case Review has been carried out.
The Local Safeguarding Children Board will report shortly - I expect it to publish a full and detailed Serious Case Review (SCR) executive summary that is clear about what happened and what action is being taken as a result. The Government has already taken decisive action to intervene in Birmingham’s children's services, following Ofsted's judgement in December 2008 that their services were inadequate in terms of safeguarding. If we think there is more to do, we will.
The trial has demonstrated, and statements today from the police confirm, that home education was a factor in this case. It shows why we do need a system in place to make sure that when children are home educated or removed from school, they not only get a good education but are safe. That is why I asked Graham Badman to review home education and home educated children’s safety and welfare.
I am now taking forward Graham Badman’s recommendations that every local authority should have access to any home educating family and that all home educating parents must register with the local authority. We will do all we can to ensure the safety of children, in Birmingham and elsewhere, including using statutory powers where it is right to do so.
Ed Balls' statement, linking home education to Khyra's death is a disgrace. He's misleading the public to push his own agenda. If EHE was a factor, then so was the way her parents fedd their children. So why aren't the government advocating the registration of all parents, requiring them to get permission to feed them certain types of food, forcing them to submit to inspections of their food cupboards, fridge and supermarket receipts to ensure the diet is suitable, making them submit for approval menus 12 months in advance, and issuing State-regulated compulsory diets if the above isn't adhered to?
Why isn't that done? Because it's ridiculous. None of that would save the next child to die of abuse. Just like Schedule 1 of the CSF Bill won't save the next child to die of abuse. Schedule 1 is ridiculous. Ed Balls and Graham Badman are using this case to push their own control agenda. Balls wants to control every aspect of family life and is using this poor girl's case as ammunition. It is shameful. I am ashamed that I ever voted for this government.