Laura Sharman 05 November 2020

Sheffield Council to compensate family after 'catalogue of errors' in education provision

Sheffield Council has been asked to pay £20,000 in compensation after it failed to provide a suitable education for a boy with special educational needs.

An investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found the boy missed out on much of his senior schooling because of 12 faults by the council.

This included failing to take too long to create an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan for the boy and placing him with an unregistered provider.

Ombudsman Michael King, said: ‘While this case is an extreme example, it serves as a stark reminder of what can happen when councils get things wrong and the devastating affect this has on children’s education and wellbeing and their families who are left to pick up the strain.

’Along with the remedy the council has agreed for this boy and his family, I am pleased it has agreed to undertake a full audit of its alternative education provision, as I am not convinced the action it has already taken has fully resolved the significant issues highlighted by this case.’

The council has agreed to apologise to the family and pay them £19,950 to make up for the boy’s lost education.

Cllr Abtisam Mohamed, cabinet member for education and skills at Sheffield City Council said: 'We fully accept the findings from the Local Government and Social Care ombudsman and take full responsibility for what happened.

'This situation is unacceptable and we are very sorry that Mrs B’s son ‘G’ was ever put in this situation where he did not receive the right education provision and that it took so long for him to be placed in the right school, in order to meet his needs.

'Over the past couple of years we have worked hard to make sure this will not happen again, and that all children in Sheffield receive the support they need. Our aim is that all the SEND services we provide, meet the needs of our children.'

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