Safeguarding agency did not have full picture of Amber Peat, inquest hears

A safeguarding agency has said it did not receive a full picture of Amber Peat from her secondary school, an inquest heard.

Theresa Godfrey, group manager for Nottingham MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) explained the hub was intended to take information and bring together agencies to take appropriate action. It also determined the threshold for what kind of social care was needed.

Amber Peat.

Amber Peat.

She said two calls made from Queen Elizabeth's School, Mansfield, had not given a full picture of Amber Peat.

She also said if they had a full picture they may have considered a referral for Amber.

In March 2015 advice given to Sharon Clay, Amber's key worker at the school, was to contact her parents and tell them of the disclosures she had made in confidence to her form teacher.

There seems to have been no record whatsoever of the consideration of the impact that might have had of Amber.

Miss Godfrey said: "I would have expected that to have been considered by the social worker.

"If there had been a sense from the referral that to share that would have put the child at further risk, there would have been a further discussion. The expectation is that information is shared with parents."

The coroner asked if she was concerned that the MASH worker had no made further enquiries.

She added the MASH worker could have asked further questions but "I would expect who ever was the referrer at the school would have the knowledge and experience to do that".

She accepted there was no evidence to a discussion of the impact on Amber.

The information as it stood at the time did not indicate Amber was at immediate risk.

"We heard they had a good relationship with the parents.

"The referrer was encouraged to come back to MASH if they were uncertain or dissatisfied."

Suzanna Burton, public health practitioner was school nurse at Queen Elizabeth's School in 2014.

She told the inquest she had been contacted by Karen Green vice principal at the school in September 2014 and told that Amber had told a secret about her stepfather being in prison for fraud. There were also concerns due to frequent changes of address.

Schools had policies of sharing information. She recorded it on the computer system.

On August 13, 2014, just after Amber had joined the school there was a record she had contacted Derbyshire MAT team.

She said she had been informed by a health visitor that Amber had been working with the multi agency team. She said she could not remember making the call.

If a family moved Derbyshire school nurses would pass on information about any interventions that had been made, to work out what support may be needed.

She had left a message for Sorele Swallow the youth support worker at Derbyshire but she never received a reply.

Derbyshire MAT had started a common assessment framework for Amber following concerns about her behaviour.

She said had she known this she would have involved agencies in Nottinghamshire to give support to Amber.

It was a missed opportunity to have a multi agency meeting early on in Amber's changeover.

The inquest continues.