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Central Bedfordshire Council (21 011 234)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 08 Dec 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about delays by the Council in holding a review of an Education Health and Care Plan. Investigation by us would be unlikely to lead to a different outcome.

The complaint

  1. Mrs X has her adult son’s consent to complain. She said the Council’s review of his Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan was late and it took too long to issue the updated Plan and to sort out transport arrangements.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide:
  • we could not add to any previous investigation by the organisation, or
  • further investigation would not lead to a different outcome.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. The council accepted it had taken too long to complete the work it had to do. Its letters stated Mrs X had wanted an apology. It gave a clear apology and stated what it would do to prevent the same thing happening again. We cannot say the changed practices are likely to be ineffective. Only the future will show that. Any investigation by us would be likely to recommend a similar remedy for the injustice caused by delay.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint because we could not add to the Council’s investigation and investigation would be unlikely to lead to a different outcome.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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