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PM announces ‘root and branch’ review of children’s homes after questioning from local MP

A wide-ranging, independent review of children’s homes in England has been ordered by the Prime Minister after a question was raised in Parliament by Melksham MP Michelle Donelan.

The former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, Sir Martin Narey, will lead the review, David Cameron told MPs after the Prime Minister told the Conservative  party conference that he is committed to improving the system.

David Cameron said, “The most important thing we can do is to speed up the adoption system so that more children get adopted.

“But for those who can’t be adopted we need to make sure that our residential care homes are doing the best possible job they can.”

“That’s why today I can announce that I have asked the former chief executive of Barnardo’s, Sir Martin Narey, who’s an excellent public servant, who I worked with when he was at the Home Office, to conduct an independent review of children’s residential care, reporting to the Education Secretary and myself so that we can take every possible step to give these children the best start in life.”

The review will start straight away and is expected to look at why children end up in care, how they are treated and how the state could support them better.

Michelle Donelan said, “I asked what more the Government can actually do to support children in care to give them the best opportunities in life, and I was pleased to hear that the Prime Minister has asked for an independent review into children’s residential care to see what more can be done to improve the system.

“We must do all we can to ensure that children in care have the same opportunities as other children.”