Baby P Official Loses Sack Appeal

The former head of children’s services at the centre of the Baby P case has lost an appeal against her dismissal.

Sharon Shoesmith was sacked by Haringey Council last month after a damning initial report into her department’s role into the 17-month-old’s death.

The toddler, who was on the council’s “at-risk” register, died in 2007 after suffering a series of major injuries.

The north London council said the appeal had been rejected by a panel of councillors.

Following the report, Ms Shoesmith was dismissed with immediate effect and the council said she would not be receiving any compensation or pay in lieu of notice.

No compensation

Children’s Secretary Ed Balls had removed Ms Shoesmith from her post on 1 December but she remained on full pay while the council considered her case.

Ms Shoesmith’s appeal hearing, before a panel of three Haringey councillors, began on Wednesday and lasted three days.

On Monday, a Haringey Council spokesman said: “Ms 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.”

Serious concerns

Baby P’s mother admitted in court to causing or allowing the boy’s death. Her boyfriend and Jason Owen, 36, were convicted of the same offence. They are due to be sentenced later this year.

The toddler had suffered more than 50 injuries by the time of his death.

This was despite being in contact with officials, doctors and police 60 times in the eight months before he died.

After the convictions in November, Ms Shoesmith said she was satisfied her department had acted appropriately.

However, inspectors sent into Haringey after the trial identified a string of “serious concerns” about the area’s child protection services, describing them as “inadequate”.

Two other senior Haringey officers – Cecilia Hitchen, deputy director of children’s services, and Clive Preece, head of children in need and safeguarding services – remain suspended while an internal investigation is carried out.

Two social workers involved in the Baby P case – Gillie Christou and Maria Ward – have had their social work registration temporarily suspended.