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Staffordshire County Council (20 000 770)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 01 Oct 2021

Summary: Ms B complained the Council: failed to review and update C’s Education and Health Care (EHC) Plan; and refused their request for a personal budget. Ms B says the delays meant they could not appeal the Council’s decision about who should provide speech and language therapy, or whether C should have occupational therapy (OT) input; C lost access to speech and language therapy and OT; the lack of therapies caused C distress. Her mental health declined. A move to a post-16 college was affected; and they had to pay for a private OT assessment.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

The Council has agreed to:

  • apologise to C and Ms B;
  • pay C and Ms B £750 each for the uncertainty, missed opportunities, stress and frustration the delays and missed decisions led to over an extended period;
  • pay Ms B £300 for her time and trouble in repeatedly having to raise the issues; and
  • refund Ms B £450 for the costs of the OT report she commissioned.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 20 January 2022

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