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(UK) Suffolk: Mom of 3 kids with ASD gets $54K for special ed failures

Nov 22, 2022, East Anglian Daily Times: SEND problems having damaging impact on children across Suffolk

SE England

A Suffolk parent of three says the County Council's "failures" over SEND (special education needs and disability) provision has resulted in her children missing "a crucial time in their development".

Her comments come after it was revealed that the local authority has been ordered to pay out more than £44,500 [$54K] in compensation to SEND families in 2022 so far.

Kelly Smith, a single parent living in Beccles, said the figure was nothing when compared to the cost of additional provision.

"It might seem a lot, but it's not enough.

"What we want is an acknowledgement of these failures, an apology and then for the Council to make up for lost time."

All of Kelly's children are autistic and two of them, both aged seven, attend a specialist school.

Until January of this year, they were in a severe learning disability school - despite the placement being identified as unsuitable in March 2020.

The children had to wait until September 2022 to find suitable education.

"We found out almost three years ago that they needed to go elsewhere.

"But there were so many delays in the process that they didn't end up getting what they needed until this year.

"Now they're three years behind and have missed a crucial period in their development…. "I don't know if they'll be able to claw that time back but they have to try. …

"Our progress is also reviewed by officers from the Department for Education who report effective and timely improvements.

“We have made considerable and rapid progress within our SEND reform.”


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