Sharon Shoesmith has yet to decide whether to appeal a High Court decision preventing a judicial review of her sacking as director of children’s services at Haringey Council after the Baby P case in December 2008.
Despite the deadline for submitting an appeal being set for last week Shoesmith told Community Care this morning “the question of appeal is ongoing, nothing is settled yet”. She is appearing today at a Westminster Education Forum seminar and is due to speak on the impact of the Baby P case on social work later today.
It is possible for appeals to be lodged after deadlines set by judges, along with an application for an extension to the deadline. No appeal has yet been lodged.
Shoesmith was sacked by Haringey Council after intervention by former secretary of state for children, Ed Balls. He did so following a media frenzy prompted by the Baby P case and a damning emergency Ofsted report on children’s safeguarding services in Haringey.
In his judgement to deny her application for judicial review, earlier this year, Justice Foskett said he had reached his conclusions with a “lurking sense of unease”.
However, Foskett pointed out that the focus of the review was purely related to the fairness of the procedures adopted by Ofsted, Balls and Haringey, not on the merits of decisions made, nor whether an Ofsted report had been altered, nor whether Shoesmith was entitled to compensation.
The judge said he had decided that the best place for determining whether Shoesmith had been treated unfairly by Haringey was in an employment tribunal. Shoesmith has registered a claim of unfair dismissal against Haringey but the case is on hold until the judicial review application is finally settled.