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(UK) Alton: Council fined for failing disabled boy awaiting ASD assessment

May 22, 2023, Alton Herald: Council pays out £3,900 [$4,800] for failing pupil with special needs

Near London

Surrey County Council has been ordered to pay almost £4,000 for filing the mother of a child with special education needs.
The council failed to provide suitable full-time education to an SEND (special educational needs or disability) primary school child, causing the youngster to miss valuable learning time and creating undue stress for his mother, a local government watchdog has ruled….

The council must pay £2,900 for the lack of education provided over a six-month period and a further £1,000 for the inconvenience, distress, time and trouble caused to his mother – including the impact on her employment.

It must also provide updated guidance clarifying the legal position on complaints and appeals as well as evidence it has complied with the ruling.

The ombudsman said it would not make further recommendations for service improvements to the council’s alternative education provision as these have been covered in “similar findings against the council in other cases in the recent past covering the same period”.

Staff are also to be retrained and better records kept to “prevent a recurrence of the same fault in future cases.”

In 2020 the boy was on a waiting list for an autism assessment by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Surrey County Council headquarters ( Emily Coady-Stemp )

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