Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Miss B complained about the provision of education for her son, P, in particular that:
a) Since the statutory annual review of P’s special educational needs in 2019, the Council failed to arrange the educational provision set out in his statement of special educational needs (“SSEN”).
b) The Council unduly delayed providing a final amended SSEN since P stopped attending the school named in the SSEN in October 2020.
The Ombudsman found there was no evidence that the provisions set out in P’s original SSEN were not being offered when it was reviewed in 2019. The Council agreed to include additional provision in the 2020 SSEN in response to Miss B’s concerns; it later agreed to help Miss B identify and consider alternative schools, although this was not because suitable provision was not being arranged for P. The Ombudsman did not uphold this part of the complaint. However, she found that there were delays in the Council issuing the final amended SSEN, which caused delay in Miss B being able to appeal the content of the statement to a Tribunal. The Ombudsman upheld this element of the complaint.
The Ombudsman recommended that the Council apologise to Miss B, and offer her a payment of £750 in recognition of the distress caused and the loss of opportunity of appealing to the Tribunal at an earlier time.