Kent County Council (17 007 344)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 02 Sep 2017

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs A’s complaint about the assessment of her son’s special educational needs because she has appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will refer to as Mrs A, complains that the Council was at fault in denying her son appropriate provision for his special educational needs.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has appealed to a tribunal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)
  2. SEND is a tribunal that considers special educational needs. (The Special Educational Needs and Disability Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal (‘SEND’))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mrs A has said in support of her complaint.

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What I found

  1. Mrs A’s son has special educational needs. She complains that, during the assessment process for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) a Council officer unreasonably refused to accept the need to for appropriate provision.
  2. Mrs A appealed to SEND about the content of the proposed EHCP. She states that the Council conceded the appeal on the day before the hearing. She therefore complains that she was put to unnecessary expense in engaging legal representation.
  3. The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs A’s complaint. Although the appeal did not go ahead, she used her right to appeal to SEND. As she has used the remedy available to her the Ombudsman cannot intervene.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs A’s complaint because she has appealed to SEND.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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