Brandon Muir, who was a month short of his second birthday when he died in March 2008, was killed by his mother’s new boyfriend, Robert Cunningham, just three weeks after he moved into her home in Dundee.

The review highlighted a breakdown in communication between social workers regarding ­23-year-old Cunningham’s past and revealed that police had failed to attend an earlier meeting thatat which is was decided that Cunningham’s own child was to be removed from the at-risk register.

Nonetheless, the report also said that Cunningham’s assault of Brandon “could not have been predicted” and that the authorities had little opportunity to prevent the killing.

James Hawthorn, the independent social work consultant who carried out the review, said there were many more cases at the time of Brandon’s death which had troubled the authorities more.

He said that Brandon Muir’s family was “below the radar”, adding: “Health workers and social workers would say there were many, many more families on their caseloads that were more worrying.”

Robert Cunningham, 23, was already known to police after claims that he serially battered his ex-partner, with access to his own child restricted to supervised visits after he harmed his son’s mother as the child watched.

He had also spent time in prison following a housebreaking conviction and was stood trial at the High Court in 2005 of raping a teenager, but the case was not proven.

However, a Serious Case Review ordered following Brandon’s death reported yesterday that these key pieces of information were not shared at an urgent meeting called to discuss the welfare of Brandon Muir, with the child protection team unable to create a “full and current risk assessment of potential risks to the children.”

Brandon died of internal bleeding following a stomach injury less than three weeks after an urgent meeting called to discuss his welfare. A post-mortem examination showed he had 40 injuries in total at the time of his death.

Cunningham is now serving 10 years in prison after being convicted of culpable homicide at the High Court in Glasgow in March.

Both he and the boy’s mother, Heather Boyd, 23, who walked free from court, had been using heroin at a party on the night that Brandon died.

Recent research has put the number of children in Scotland being raised by a drug-addicted parentparent at 40,000.

Following the review, the Scottish Government said that a national child protection co-ordinator is towould be appointed to work with the country’s 30 child protection committees to improve standards and ensure a coherent approach is at work.

A new resource unit for those working in child protection is also being established at Stirling University.

“Nationally, we have made clear that we will work together with local authorities and partners to continue to strengthen procedures for children who may be at risk,” said Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop, minister for education and lifelong learning.

Professor Brigid Daniel, child protection expert at the University of Stirling, welcomed the development but added: “I am really encouraged that the government is trying again to do this but we have to make sure that the improvements reach the frontline staff, who are going out dayto day knocking on doors and dealing with people who really don’t want to have much to do with them.”

The review has recommended that all adults considered members of the household - whether they were actually resident at the address or not - should be considered in child protection assessments.

It also recommended that when an adult causing concern moves into a household with children, any agency which becomes aware of this should share the information with all other agencies involved in a child’s welfare.

A second report carried out on the Brandon Muir case by Professor Peter Wilson, former chief constable of Fife Police, said the review would lead to a “necessary tightening up of procedures”.

Alan Baird, the chair of the Dundee Children and Young Persons Protection Committee, said that the short space of time for which Cunningham lived with Brandon meant there was “little opportunity” for the authorities to prevent the fatal assault on Brandon.

Allan Petrie, a founding member of the Real Justice for Brandon campaign, said there was “enough evidence to show that Brandon was in severe danger”.

He claimed: “The report shows that the system is to blame, the whole social work system.”