Not being fully aware of the background detail of the events that have led to the dismissal of Sharon Shoesmith over the failings in Haringey regarding the death of Baby P, I do not wish to comment directly.
I do, however, wish to raise the question of the gathering together under one overall responsibility of education and social care.
The skills and exerience required to manage and maintain an effective education service are not necessarily those required in a wider brief.
Should not one of the lessons of these tragic events be to ask questions about the clustering that has taken place in recent years in local authorities? Maybe Eric Schumacher was right, small is beautiful. If responsibility is to be accepted, then the circumstances under which it is to be delivered must be examined.
Chris McDonnell, Retired headteacher, Little Haywood, Staffordshire.