“Baby P” died as a result of abuse by a number of people, including his mother, despite numerous visits from social workers. The Director of Children and Young People’s Services (“S”) at Haringey Council which was responsible for Baby P was removed from her statutory post by the then Secretary of State following Baby P’s death.

The Council then dismissed her from her employment without compensation or payment in lieu of notice. S sought judicial review of the fairness of the decision to dismiss her but was unsuccessful. She then appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal held that the Council’s decision to dismiss S was unlawful and void because it had relied on unlawful directions from the Secretary of State, which it knew were unlawful when it relied upon them.

The CA held that S was “entitled to be treated lawfully and fairly and not simply and summarily scapegoated”. It has been reported that the Government and Haringey Council intend to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

(R (on the application of Shoesmith) v Ofsted)