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Milton Keynes Council (14 013 427)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 27 Oct 2015

Summary

Complaint from a woman about the lack of transition planning for her son, who has a statement of special educational needs which the council intends to convert into an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The complaint

Complaint from a woman about the lack of transition planning for her son, who has a statement of special educational needs which the council intends to convert into an Education, Health and Care Plan. The woman complains on behalf of her son that the Special Educational Needs department failed to ensure that post-16 education for him was properly planned. As a result the young man was not able to pursue a suitable course of academic/vocational study in the academic year 2014/15. He didn't participate in academic/vocational education or employment associated with training in this period.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

We recommend that the council:

  • sends the woman and her son a letter of apology;
  • pay the woman £3,000 for loss of opportunity and frustration caused by postponement of further education. The council acts as trustee for the money and the arrangement is time limited from the date of the final decision to the young man's 20th birthday in February 2018. The money is to be spent on any purpose which furthers P's academic/vocational education or any suitable leisure activity (driving lessons/gym membership) which improves the young man's welfare following a request from him or on his behalf;
  • pay the woman £500 for the distress caused by strain on family relationships associated with her son not participating in education, training or full-time work between September 2014 and July 2015;
  • review procedures to ensure that all secondary school pupils in Years 9,10 and 11 with statements of special educational needs or education, health and care plans have transition plans in place, that these are reviewed, and that appropriate support is provided to pupils in transition planning. 

The council has accepted our recommendations to remedy the complaint. It should confirm it has taken these actions within three months of the date of the report.

The council has also told us that it will take the following steps to improve practice:

  • review procedure with a view to setting up an assurance system for Year 9,10 and 11 Annual Reviews including a check that a transition plan has been included in Annual Review paperwork;
  • produce a good practice guide for school personnel to explain their role and responsibility in transition planning for young people with education, health and care plans or statements of special educational need;
  • ensure that transition plans for young people with particularly complex needs are supported by a guidance advisor.

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 3 February 2016

 

 

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