16 004 113

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 24 Aug 2017

The complaint

Mr and Mrs X complain the council failed to provide their son with the one-to-one support he needed.


The council failed to ensure Mr and Mrs X’s son, S, received the support required by his Statement of Special Educational Needs (Statement). In total, since 2008 the council’s failings meant S missed out on 23 months of support. This caused him a significant disadvantage. Mr and Mrs X have complained to the council four times about this and three times to us. This is the second public report we have issued about the council’s failure to provide the special educational support S needs. For the complaint which we did not deal with, Mr and Mrs X had to endure a lengthy complaint procedure before their complaints were upheld by the council.


The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.


To remedy the injustice caused, the council should:

  • pay Mr and Mrs X an additional £500, to the £500 it has already offered, to acknowledge the distress and uncertainty caused by its actions which they continue to experience despite earlier complaints having been upheld;
  • pay Mr and Mrs X £800 for them to spend on a family break to acknowledge the cumulative injustice its faults have caused S;
  • review its procedures to ensure when a child transfers to another school, their Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan is amended and the appropriate procedures are followed to ensure it is compliant with the Code. The council should provide evidence it has done this;
  • review its procedures to ensure it has provisions in place to ensure Multi-Agency Resource Panel decisions are communicated to families and carers with reasons why the decision was made. The council should provide evidence it has done this;


  • provide us with evidence of the training it says it has carried out with:
    • i. staff in procuring and contracting because this contributed to the initial error in not providing S with 1:1 support;
    • ii. the special educational needs team on communication, working with parents and statutory plans, procedures and annual review processes; and
    • iii. the new Multi-Agency Resource Panel members and supporting staff.

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 13 December 2017

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