Council has to pay father £100 per month until it has sorted out his child’s Education, Health & Care Plan

County Hall, ChichesterCounty Hall, Chichester
County Hall, Chichester
West Sussex County Council has to pay a father £100 per month until it has sorted out his child’s Education, Health & Care Plan.

The father – known as Mr X – complained to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman that the council had failed to carry out a needs assessment for his child or to provide suitable education in the meantime.

The child – known as Y – has been on the roll of a mainstream school since May 2022 but has had ‘little or no attendance since then’.

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Some of the delay in preparing a Plan was because the council had trouble getting the necessary advice from an educational psychologist due to a national shortage and the very high number of referrals.

But the Ombudsman found the council to be at fault for failing to decide whether to issue a Plan within the statutory time-scales and for not properly considering its duty to provide alternative education provision for the child.

As well as the monthly payment, the council also agreed to apologise to Mr X and pay him a total of £1,800 ‘to recognise the frustration and uncertainty the delays caused him’.

A council spokesman said: “We accept the Ombudsman’s findings, have apologised to the family involved and a financial remedy has been paid.

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“We acknowledge that we were at fault for the delay in issuing an Education, Health and Care Plan and understand the distress this has caused.

“As a result of this case, we have taken action which includes providing additional guidance to staff on our duties to provide alternative education provision.”

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