Daily roundup: Shoesmith compensation, council spending, and school standards
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Details emerge of Sharon Shoesmith compensation deal; Somerset criticised for amount spent on children's services leaders; and academies best for supporting disadvantaged pupils, all in the news today.
Sharon Shoesmith, the director of children's services at Haringey Council when Baby Peter Connelly was killed, was awarded almost £680,000 for her unfair dismissal claim. The Telegraph reports that the council’s draft accounts for 2013/14 show she was awarded
£377,266 in salary, fees and allowances, £217,266 compensation for loss of office, and £84,819 in employer pension contributions following an agreement between their legal teams struck last year. In 2011, the Court of Appeal ruled that Shoesmith had been unfairly sacked and “scapegoated” over the death of Peter Connelly.
Somerset County Council has been criticised for spending nearly £600,000 employing two temporary directors of children’s services to turn around its failing children’s services. The Somerset County Gazette reports that the salary and agency fees for Peter Lewis, an interim director at the authority since 2013, totals £318,500. The council's interim deputy director Kate Lovell’s pay and agency fees add up to £275,000.
The best academy chains outperform other state-funded schools, research has found. A study by the Sutton Trust shows that in nine of the 31 chains studied, disadvantaged students in sponsored academies outperformed the average for those in mainstream schools in 2013.
Children and families’ charity 4Children has launched its 2014 Children’s Centre Census. The aim of the annual questionnaire is to provide a national picture of the state of children’s centres and the services they provide. The survey closes on 22 August.
The majority of service users have rated Hackney Council’s youth service department as good, very good or excellent. According to the council, 85 per cent of young people endorsed the department during a survey seeking users’ views on youth provision and activities available in the London borough.
Two children’s centres earmarked for closure by Salford City Council will stay open after campaigns against plans to close half of the city’s centres. The Salford Star reports that the Fiddlers Lane and River View centres will stay open and that the council is revising its original plans.