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Isle of Wight Council (19 013 815)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 20 Jan 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr Q’s complaint about the school named in his son’s Education, Health and Care Plan. This is because he had a right of appeal to SEND.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I have called Mr Q, complained that Isle of Wight Council will not change the school named in his son’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). He believes the named school cannot meet his son’s needs.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone can appeal to a tribunal. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to appeal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)
  3. SEND is a tribunal that considers special educational needs. (The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (‘SEND’))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information Mr Q provided. I considered the information the Council provided. I invited Mr Q to comment on a draft of this decision.

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What I found

  1. Mr Q’s son, G, has an EHC Plan.
  2. In 2019 the Council issued an amended EHC Plan following an annual review. The Council named G’s current school in the EHC Plan even though Mr Q does not think the school meets G’s needs.
  3. Mr Q had a right of appeal to SEND about the school named in G’s EHC Plan. SEND has the power to name a different school in the EHC Plan. We do not have the power to do this. So it would have been reasonable for Mr Q to appeal to SEND if he was unhappy with the school named in G’s EHC Plan.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr Q’s complaint. This is because he had a right of appeal to a tribunal.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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