17 February 2022 – Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council


On Monday, Solihull’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership will receive the findings from the recent Joint Targeted Area Inspection.  This was triggered by the court case concerning the tragic death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes who was killed by those we expected to love and care for him.

The inspection was not about the circumstances of Arthur’s death, that is being dealt with by a National Panel Review ordered by the Secretary of State for Education. It was focused on how organisations in Solihull work together to prevent harm to children and young people in the borough.

None of us, either here in Solihull or across the nation, can be anything but appalled and shocked by Arthur’s murder.  Rather than wait for these reports we have already set up an Improvement Board and recruited an independent chair Penny Thompson CBE, to begin the work of improving safeguarding in the borough.

This Board will support, oversee, and importantly challenge partner organisations with responsibility for safeguarding children, on their progress in delivering an updated Improvement Plan.

We can now get on with the important work of learning and responding to the findings of the inspection and the National Panel Review. 

I know that Penny will bring an independent voice and real, robust challenge.  I am pleased she has accepted and that we have a respected and experienced professional on board.  She has particular expertise in children’s social work and I look forward to her bringing drive and further rigour to the work we undertake.

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council