Norfolk County Council (17 007 085)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 31 Oct 2018

Summary: Miss X complains about the Council’s delay in issuing her son’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and its failure to provide him with suitable education provision.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found faulty causing injustice

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the Council:

  • pay Miss X a total of £250 for frustration, time and trouble caused by the delays in issuing Y’s EHC Plan;
  • pay a total of £4000 to Miss X and Y to acknowledge the injustice arising from the delay in issuing Y’s final EHC Plan and failure to arrange suitable education provision for one academic year;
  • review its processes to ensure that EHC Plans are completed within 20 weeks, needs are identified and provision is met;
  • develop and implement a mechanism to assist it in identifying what advice is outstanding from professionals and record when this information is chased;
  • arrange staff training to ensure all officers are aware of the Council’s duties in providing alternative education provision in accordance with section 19 of the Education Act 1996;
  • write to School A to remind it of its responsibilities and the Council’s expectations in accordance with its policy on children missing school;
  • provide us with written evidence that these service improvements have been actioned; and
  • provide us with a copy of the new referral process it implemented on 4 June 2018.

We welcome the Council’s positive agreement to our recommendations, its constructive commitment to provide a remedy for the complainant and implement the wider service improvements we have suggested for the future.

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