Ofsted inspectors go into Birmingham children's services

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A surprise inspection is under way into Birmingham City Council's children's services.

Ofsted inspectors will spend a total of eight days examining the work of the city's social workers.

Birmingham Social Services was served with an improvement notice in 2009 following several child deaths, including the case of Khyra Ishaq.

Ofsted rated the services "inadequate" in 2010 but a report from inspectors in October 2011 found they were improving.

'Routine and unannounced'

A serious case review by the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board into seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq's death in 2008 found it could have been prevented.

She was mistreated by her mother and her partner at a house in Handsworth, Birmingham, and weighed just 2st 9lb when found.

Her mother was later sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Khyra's stepfather was jailed indefinitely after his manslaughter plea was accepted. He must serve a minimum of seven-and-half years.

The review found there was a catalogue of missed opportunities by professional agencies.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said child protection inspections were routine and unannounced.

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