Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Bridgend County Borough Council
Mr N complained that Bridgend County Borough Council (“the Council”), in its capacity as the Local Education Authority (“LEA”), had failed to provide adequately for the education of his grandson, D. Specifically, he was concerned that the process for assessing D’s special educational needs and completing a Statement of Special Educational Needs (“SSEN”) was unduly delayed and that the Council failed to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the effective implementation of the SSEN. He also complained that the Council had failed to provide an adequate response to his complaint.
The investigation found that there had been maladministration in the form of unexplained delays at 1 stage in the assessment process, but did not uphold that part of the complaint, because the failings had not caused harm or injustice. It found that there was no evidence that maladministration had occurred in respect of the LEA’s arrangements for implementation of the SSEN. For that reason, the Ombudsman did not uphold that part of the complaint. Finally, the investigation found that there had been a failure on the part of the Council to properly address Mr N’s complaint about D’s provision. Accordingly, the Ombudsman upheld that aspect of the complaint.
The Council agreed to the Ombudsman’s recommendations to, within 1 month, apologise to Mr N for its complaint handling failures and make a payment to him for £125 in respect of the unnecessary time and trouble associated with pursuing his complaint.