'Six figure payout' for Baby P council child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith over unfair dismissal

Ms Shoesmith's lawyers argue that she was the victim of 'a flagrant breach of natural justice' fuelled by a media witch-hunt

Former child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith could receive a six figure payout for her unfair dismissal following the Baby P tragedy, according to reports.

Peter Connelly, known publicly as Baby P, died when he was 17 months old after suffering months of abuse at the hands of three people who have since been jailed, including his mother.

Ms Shoesmith. the former head of Haringey's children services, won a ruling in 2011 that conceded she had been unfairly dismissed following the publication of a report on the toddlers death.

A settlement which could reach up to £600,000 has been agreed, though Ms Shoesmith may receive a lower sum, according to BBC 2's Newsnight.

Some of the cash will come from central Government coffers but it is expected that Haringey council will foot most of the bill.

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said today: “Following the decision of the Court of Appeal in favour of Ms Shoesmith, and the court's direction that the parties seek to resolve the issue of compensation, the London Borough of Haringey and Ms Shoesmith have reached a settlement in this case.

“The terms of the settlement are confidential. We are unable to comment further on this matter.”

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls removed Ms Shoesmith from her £133,000-a-year post as Haringey Council's director of children's services while in his post as Children's Secretary, after a damning report on the death of Baby Peter.

She was then fired by the north London council without compensation in December 2008, after the publication of a report from regulator Ofsted exposed how her department failed to protect Peter. She has not worked since, according to reports.

But her lawyers argued that she was the victim of “a flagrant breach of natural justice” fuelled by a media witch-hunt.

In May 2011, the Appeal Court concluded she was unfairly sacked because Mr Balls and Haringey did not give her a proper chance to present her case before being removed from her post.

The Department for Education and Haringey sought permission to attempt to overturn the ruling in the Supreme Court but judges rejected the applications, paving the way for her to claim compensation, which some experts predicted could be in the region of £1 million.

Peter died in Tottenham, north London, on 3 August 2007 at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger Jason Owen, who were jailed in May 2009 for causing or allowing his death.

He had suffered more than 50 injuries despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over the final eight months of his life.

Mr Balls said at the time at the time of the Appeal Court ruling that he was “surprised and concerned” by the decision, which he warned would make it “difficult for ministers to act swiftly” when children are at risk.

The Ofsted report into Peter's death catalogued “catastrophic management failures” on such a devastating scale that Haringey's council leader and lead member for children's services resigned their posts, he added.

“I judged on the basis of that independent report - and on the advice of departmental officials and lawyers - that the right and responsible course of action was for me to use my statutory powers to remove the Director of Children's Services from her position with immediate effect.”

Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie, a member of the Commons education select committee, told Newsnight Ms Shoesmith should “demonstrate personal responsibility”.

She said: “A blame culture is not the same as a culture in which people take responsibility and accountability.”

Tory former children's minister Tim Loughton told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that "we are effectively rewarding failure.

"When you are appointed a director of children's services - this is the whole point of the reforms after Victoria Climbie, which again happened in Haringey - is that the buck has to stop somewhere and someone has to take responsibility.

"You don't expect that person accepting responsibility, reluctantly in this case, to get a very large cheque on the back of it as well."

Additional reporting by Press Association

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager - Events, Digital, Offline

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable