Oct 29 2013
Former child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith is to receive a six figure payout for being unfairly dismissed following the Baby P tragedy, it has been reported.
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 Haringey council will foot most of the bill, it reported.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, while Education Secretary, removed Ms Shoesmith from her £133,000-a-year post as Haringey Council's director of children's services after a damning report on the death of Peter Connolly.
She was then fired by the north London council without compensation in December 2008, after a report from regulator Ofsted exposed how her department had failed to protect 17-month-old Peter - then known publicly as Baby P. She has reportedly not worked since.
But h er 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 put her case before her removal.
The Department for Education and Haringey sought permission to attempt to overturn the ruling in the Supreme Court, judges rejected the applications, clearing the way for her to receive compensation, which some experts predicted could be in the region of £1 million.
Peter died in Tottenham, north London, on August 3 2007 at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger Jason Owen.
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.
A series of reviews identified missed opportunities when officials could have saved his life if they had acted properly on the warning signs in front of them.
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."