Education

28.03.19

Local government ombudsman slams Surrey County Council for delaying disabled boy’s education by 15 months

Surrey County Council and its under-fire special needs services has been criticised by the local government ombudsman after it took 15 months too long to provide a disabled boy with adequate education.

The boy, who has “significant special education needs (SEN),” was left in a school unable to provide the right occupational therapy support, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

The council took 15 months too long to issue the boy’s education, health and care plan (EHC), and “unfairly limited” his father’s ability to chase for updates.

Surrey CC was criticised for “misinformation and poor communication” after trying to block the father’s attempts, and has been ordered to pay the family £3,750.

The council said the boy is now in a school able to provide for his needs.

Michael King, the local government and social care ombudsman, said: “We have issued a national report on the councils’ handling of EHC plans, and numerous reports since of individual councils getting things wrong in this area.

“I urge councils to take note of the advice and recommendations they contain.

“This case was beset with misinformation and poor communication from the council with the family.

“On a number of occasions, we asked officers to back up their assertions about what the father had agreed, and its reasoning behind certain decisions. The council provided us with little or no evidence.”

This is the second time the ombudsman has upheld a complaint from the same family about the council’s communication, and the local authority also had to apologise to a family of another disabled boy who missed out on half a year of schooling.

King added: “I welcome its ready acceptance of my recommendations, and hope the council will now learn the lessons about keeping people properly informed.”

The council’s lead for all-age learning, Julie Iles, said the authority had fully accepted the findings and apologised to the family as well as providing extra training for staff.

“We've already made changes to services since this happened and we're carrying out a wider transformation which is aimed at giving children and young people the support they need at the earliest opportunity, in line with our vision for Surrey that no-one is left behind,” Iles added.

Surrey County Council plans to cut £21m from its special educational needs cash purse as part of £82m of savings in its 2019-20 budget.

But the plans have faced a fierce backlash, with four mothers taking the council to the High Court, but their legal challenge failed last week.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >
New marketplace improves public sector access to latest tech

11/06/2019New marketplace improves public sector access to latest tech

The Government has launched a new marketplace for innovation, providing a smarter way for public sector customers to access the very latest techn... more >
Time to build a truly northern powerhouse

11/06/2019Time to build a truly northern powerhouse

Jack Hunter, a research fellow at think tank IPPR North, discusses how to use the Northern Powerhouse to encourage greater social purpose among b... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >
Time to build a truly northern powerhouse

11/06/2019Time to build a truly northern powerhouse

Jack Hunter, a research fellow at think tank IPPR North, discusses how to use the Northern Powerhouse to encourage greater social purpose among b... more >
Thurrock Council: A council that gets business, does business and means business

11/06/2019Thurrock Council: A council that gets business, does business and means business

Thurrock Council’s chief executive, Lyn Carpenter, discusses an exciting new £1bn regeneration scheme on the River Thames and its imp... more >
Broken electoral system creating 'rotten boroughs'

10/06/2019Broken electoral system creating 'rotten boroughs'

The lack of candidates in recent elections is a worrying trend which impacts on communities and democracy. Willie Sullivan, a senior director at ... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News