Sheffield City Council failed boy with special educational needs

Sheffield City Council failed boy with special educational needs

A council has been told to pay a boy with special educational needs £20,000 because it failed to provide a suitable alternative education for him.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman said the boy and his mother should get the money “because of the council’s catalogue of errors.”

He has Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Pathological Demand Avoidance.

Sheffield Council said it took full responsibility and accepted the report.

The ombudsman’s report said when the 15-year-old could not stay at his first secondary school, the council put in place alternative education “on a greatly reduced timetable”.

The new arrangement was with an unregistered provider and it did not provide the boy with proper formal schooling, the report found.

The boy left his first secondary school in 2015 and started at a second school in April 2018 but he did not complete a full week’s education until March 2020.

The Ombudsman’s found 12 faults with the way the council dealt with the family’s case.

In the report, the Ombudsman said the council took too long to formulate an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan for the boy when he moved from primary school to secondary school.

The way the city council dealt with a complaint by the boy’s mother was criticised by the Ombudsman.

In a statement the 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 [the family] were 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.

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