Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Social workers sacked in Khyra area

Six social workers at a council criticised over the death of Khyra Ishaq have been sacked

Six social workers at a city council criticised over the death from starvation of a seven-year-old girl have been sacked.

The staff were dismissed over the past year for not doing their jobs properly at Birmingham City Council, which is taking part in a serious case review into the death of Khyra Ishaq.

She died in May 2008 from starvation, and her mother and stepfather were both jailed last week for her manslaughter.

Colin Tucker, director of children's social care at the council, said the sacked staff showed "no sign whatsoever" of meeting expected standards.

In an interview with the BBC, he said: "We are not appointing some staff, as well as that we have dismissed six staff in the last year. There is a clear indication we are serious about our standards.

"They did not adhere to standards and expectations that we laid down. They showed no sign whatsoever that they were keen to do so, so we dismissed them."

The dismissals are not thought to be directly linked to Khyra's death. But they follow a number of other child deaths over recent years.

Khyra died when her body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham. She was removed from school in December 2007 and social workers made several attempts to visit her home.

Khyra's mother, Angela Gordon, was jailed last week for 15 years over her death, while her former partner Junaid Abuhamza was jailed indefinitely with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years.

During the trial, judge Mrs Justice King said "in all probability" Khyra would not have died had there been "an adequate initial assessment and proper adherence by the educational welfare services to its guidance".

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk