Summary: Mrs B complains about multiple failings by the Council in connection with the provision of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan for her child.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
The Council should:
- apologise in writing to Mrs B;
- pay Mrs B £3,000 to be used for C’s educational benefit in the way she considers most appropriate, to recognise the delay he sustained in receiving the provision he was entitled to;
- pay Mrs B £1,000 to acknowledge the significant distress caused to the family by the faults identified;
- pay Mrs B £150 in recognition of the time and trouble caused to her in pursuing this complaint;
- review its procedures to ensure that when it receives a notification under Section 24 of the Children and Families Act 2014 that a child in its area may have special educational needs, it consults parents and other professionals so as to reach a decision within 6 weeks;
- review and streamline its processes to meet the 20-week timescale required by law to finalise EHC plans; review the arrangements for the new early years inclusion fund to ensure it will not allow for the faults identified by this investigation to be replicated; and
- write to the parents of all children who were placed on a waiting list for funding for special educational provision to explain the faults identified by this investigation and provide a remedy for those families on the same basis as that provided in this case