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Ofsted made changes to Shoesmith report

PUBLISHED: 15:38 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 07 September 2010

Sharon Shoesmith

Sharon Shoesmith

NEW court documents have been released which show that changes were made to a damning Ofsted report on Haringey s children s services after the Baby Peter case. Mr Justice Foskett, the judge hearing the judicial review into Sharon Shoesmi

Charlotte Newton

NEW court documents have been released which show that changes were made to a damning Ofsted report on Haringey's children's services after the Baby Peter case.

Mr Justice Foskett, the judge hearing the judicial review into Sharon Shoesmith's sacking, has taken the rare step of making the documents public before making his ruling. This follows a request from several media organisations.

It is understood that he released 1,300 pages of documents given to the courts by the various sides. It has been reported that the court papers contain the various drafts of the Ofsted report - showing that changes were made to "beef up" the report and make it more critical. The papers also show that Ofsted instructed inspectors who were looking at Haringey's children's services to delete emails relating to the Baby Peter case.

Ms Shoesmith, 56, was dismissed from her post as director of children's services in December 2008, following the damning report from Ofsted which concluded there was "insufficient strategic leadership and management oversight" in the safeguarding of local children.

She is taking action against Children's Secretary Ed Balls, Ofsted and Haringey Council over her sacking and is seeking damages.

Ms Shoesmith's lawyers claim that the report was altered to make it more critical of her personally.

Mr Balls sent Ofsted inspectors into Haringey in November 2008 after the trial of those responsible for Peter Connelly's death.

The 17-month-old boy was found dead in his blood-splattered cot in August 2007 with more than 50 injuries, including a broken back.

Her lawyers claim that she was unfairly dismissed from her post because Mr Balls allowed himself to be influenced by a media storm and "witch hunt" over the case.

Mr Balls rejected the claim and said that as secretary of state, he had been given powers to intervene when he judged that a local authority's child protection services were inadequate.

Mr Justice Foskett has seen all the evidence but he is not expected to make a verdict on the case until after Easter.


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