West Sussex County Council (17 008 448)

Category : Education > Alternative provision

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 23 Oct 2018


Mrs X complains that the Council failed to provide appropriate support and education for her daughter when she refused to go to school because of high levels of anxiety, but instead took action against her for non-attendance.


The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.


To remedy the injustice to the family the Council should:

  • Apologise to Mr and Mrs X for not fully considering alternative approaches to ensuring an education for their daughter from April to July 2017.
  • Pay them £400 to recognise the loss of educational opportunity during this period, to be used for the benefit of Y’s education.
  • Remind relevant staff that the duty to provide alternative education may arise for reasons other than exclusion and illness.

Further Report

The Council has so far refused to comply with recommendations made in a report issued on 23 October 2018. The recommendations were made to remedy the injustice caused as a result of fault by the Council. The Council was given three months to respond to the report and provide evidence of compliance. The Council responded but refused to comply with the recommendations. We are therefore issuing a further report to highlight the continuing concerns about the Council’s failure to fully acknowledge and remedy its faults.

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