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Special Educational Needs (SEN) : Bridgend County Borough Council

Report date



Special Educational Needs (SEN)


Upheld in whole or in part

Case ref number


Report type

Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld

Relevant body

Bridgend County Borough Council

Mr A complained about delays in Bridgend County Borough Council (“the Council”) progressing his son’s amended annual Special Educational Needs (“SEN”) review statement. He was also dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of his complaint and the robustness of its complaint response.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found that shortcomings in communication were a factor in both aspects of Mr A’s complaints. The Ombudsman recognised the staffing challenges that the Council’s Directorate faced at the time, which was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she felt that more could have been done to communicate at a much earlier stage with Mr A, about the SEN review statement delays, and the measures in place until they were issued. She therefore upheld this part of Mr A’s complaint. The Ombudsman found that when it came to the handling of Mr A’s complaint, the Council had not acknowledged or properly explained how it had dealt with his previous complaint correspondence in its complaint response to him. The Ombudsman concluded that the Council’s failings amounted to maladministration and had caused an injustice to Mr A. She upheld both parts of his complaint.

The Ombudsman recommended that the Council apologise to Mr A for the communication shortcomings and if it did not do so, the Directorate should introduce a system for acknowledging and explaining the process for Stage 1 informal complaints made direct to it. The Council agreed to implement the recommendations.