Shoesmith goes to High Court and employment tribunal over sacking

Former Haringey children’s director Sharon Shoesmith (pic right) is taking legal action against children’s secretary Ed Balls and Haringey Council over her dismissal.

Balls used powers under the Education Act 1996 to remove Shoesmith last December following the “devastating” findings of an inspection ordered after the Baby P case.

The review by Oftsed and police and health inspectorates, published last December, criticised “poor” child protection practices and concluded there had been “insufficient” management oversight by Shoesmith and the council’s chief executive.

Later that month, the council sacked Shoesmith, without compensation and with immediate effect.


Shoesmith is challenging Balls’ dismissal in the High Court, and has also registered a claim against Haringey Council at the Watford Employment Tribunal.

Haringey Council said it would “vigorously contest” her claim.

The former schools inspector has been subjected to sustained media villification over her handling of the Baby P case, particularly her failure to issue an immediate public apology.


In her only press interview with The Guardian last month, Shoesmith accused Balls of “breathtaking recklessness” in his actions over Baby P, but admitted she had been “out of touch with public opinion”.

Shoesmith’s solicitor is due to put out a statement later today.

Full coverage of the Baby P case in Haringey



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