Baby P children’s services chief loses sacking appeal

The former-children’s services chief who lost her job after the Baby P scandal has lost her appeal to Haringey Council against her sacking.

Sharon Shoesmith, who was dismissed in December without compensation after a report revealed her department’s damaging failings, lost her attempt to overturn the decision to remove her from post yesterday.

A panel of three councillors rejected her appeal, after a hearing which began last Wednesday and lasted three days.

A statement by Haringey Council, seen by Personnel Today, said: “Shoesmith will not be returning to work in Haringey. She will not receive any compensation package. She will not receive any payment in lieu of notice.”

The initial report into the Baby P saga, ordered by children’s secretary Ed Balls, claimed the department’s shortcomings under Shoesmith “led to a fundamental loss of trust and confidence” in her ability. Baby P was visited 60 times by social workers who failed to notice signs of severe physical abuse, which ultimately led to the 17-month-old’s death.

Balls removed Shoesmith from her post on 8 December but she remained suspended on full pay until Haringey councillors decided to dismiss her a week later.

Employment law experts have suggested Shoesmith could be in line for a payout of £173,000 if she could prove that the council was wrong to sack her.

A Harringey council spokesman refused to comment on such “speculation”.

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