Former Haringey LBC director of children’s services Sharon Shoesmith will have the legal challenge to her sacking fast-tracked, according to reports.
The Times said Ms Shoesmith, who was removed from her post by children’s secretary Ed Balls following a damning Ofsted inquiry into the Baby Peter tragedy, would have a three-day hearing on her claims in early October.
Ms Shoesmith argues that the secretary of state exceeded his legal powers in making his directions in December last year, and her resulting sacking without pay or compensation was a result of media pressure on Mr Balls.
The Times said the High Court’s decision to fast-track the case was a sign that it involved “an important point of law”.
The paper said Ms Shoesmith could stand to lose £50,000 from her own pocket if the challenge is not successful. The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE) said it could not comment on individual cases but it was possible for a SOLACE member to buy employment and other insurance cover.
She and three other social services department colleagues also pursuing an unfair dismissal case against Haringey, alleging the authority did not follow proper procedures in terminating their employment.
- The three at the centre of the tragedy have been named after the court anonymity order expired. His mother is Tracey Connelly, 28, and her partner Steven Barker, 33. The third defendant was Jason Owen, 37, Barker’s brother. Baby Peter’s surname, Connelly, has also been released. BBC report
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