Council Ordered to Pay £15,000 After Child Misses Two Years of Schooling Due to Failings

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has instructed North Northamptonshire Council to pay nearly £15,000 due to their errors, which resulted in a child missing two years of education.

 

Mr and Mrs B lodged a complaint stating that the council had failed to provide a personal assistant for their daughter, Miss K, as outlined in her Education Health and Care (EHC) plan from Summer 2021 to September 2023. This failure meant Miss K couldn’t attend school properly.

 

Miss K was supposed to have a personal assistant (TA) for one hour each weekday morning to help with learning independent living skills, as stated in her EHC plan. Despite repeated requests from her parents, the council didn’t provide this special educational provision. Even after complaints were made in June 2022, the council failed to act.

 

It wasn’t until May 2023 that the council began searching for a personal assistant, with one finally starting work in September 2023.

 

Following an investigation, the Ombudsman found significant faults on the council’s part. They didn’t follow Miss K’s plan, neglected to inform her parents of their decisions, and were slow in addressing complaints.

 

To rectify the situation, the Ombudsman ordered the council to complete the review of Miss K’s EHC plan promptly and inform her parents of the outcome. Additionally, the council must apologise to Mr and Mrs B and compensate them for the missed support, distress caused, and the time and trouble they faced due to the council’s inadequate response to their complaints.

 

The council has agreed to comply with these instructions.

 

The LGO’s findings can be found here:

https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/education/special-educational-needs/23-005-151

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