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Training and resources for professionals

Learning Briefing: Jamie – Complex needs

The Incident

  • Date: 2020
  • Event: A young person, Jamie, stabbed his mother in the neck repeatedly.
  • Consequence: Jamie was arrested for attempted murder, while  Jamie’s mother suffered life-changing injuries.
  • Outcome: Jamie’s mental health is under assessment and a criminal justice procedure will be followed.


Jamie and their mother relocated three times between Devon and Somerset between 2016 and 2020. The initial move to Devon was to provide adequate educational support to Jamie, who demonstrated a limited use of language and difficulties communicating. Jamie required an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), alongside a Common Assessment Frame-work (CAF) for both Jamie and their mother. Jamie was enrolled at an independent specialist school in Somerset until 2018, followed by an 18-month period of no education.

Safeguarding Concerns

No safeguarding concerns had been identified at the time of the incident. The present case initially did not meet the criteria for a Rapid Review. However, information from this case may be of assistance in future practice.

The Review

Missed Opportunities

  • Jamie’s mother was not made aware of the implications of relocating without a secured school placement.
  • Neither Jamie’s GP or Public Health Nursing (PHN) were advised of the family transitioning between Local Authorities (LAs), besides 2016 when they first moved to Somerset.
  • Devon PHN was unaware that Jamie had moved back to Devon while out of education.
  • Vital information was not shared promptly.
  • The ECHP was of a poor quality and not transferred from Somerset to Devon
    • Very little evidence of Jamie’s voice was present throughout the ECHP
    • Aspirations for Jamie’s development and improvement were not outlined

Learning from the Review

  • Identifying Jamie’s vulnerability earlier could have triggered a referral to Early Help.
  • Robust mechanisms for efficient information sharing between agencies and across borders must be put in place, especially when children outside of mainstream education are involved.
  • The need to be alert when vulnerable families move between LAs, as they may not be receiving universal services.
  • Jamie could have remained in stable education in Somerset until a transfer was organised.
  • Parents, guardians and carers should be informed of the potential implications of relocating without a secured school placement.
  • Jamie was not promptly allocated a case worker. Once assigned, the case worker did not secure interim provision while Jamie was out of education.
  • In addition, Jamie would have benefitted from Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) support, which must be considered for children who demonstrate communication and learning difficulties.

Outcome of the Review

  • Significant limitations within SEND provision have been shown; evidence suggests the system is not child-centred, as seen by the absence of additional support for Jamie while out of education.
  • The lack of communication across agencies highlights limited resources and capacities.

Recent positive changes

  • In both Devon and Somerset, individual children who are out of education are now discussed weekly and fortnightly in their respective counties.
  • One team manager provides leadership and day-to-day oversight for children out of education to avoid duplication and confusion.


If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.