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(UK) Wirral: Council compensates family $4K for special needs child missing year of school

Mar 1, 2024, BNN Breaking: Wirral Council Compensates Family £3,350 [$4K] After Child with Special Needs Misses Year of School

NW England

Wirral Council has issued an apology and agreed to a compensation of £3,350 [$4,307] to a family, acknowledging faults in the provision of education for their child with special educational needs. The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) highlighted the council's multiple failings, particularly in finding a suitable school placement, leading to the child missing out on a year of education. This case shines a spotlight on the broader issue of delays in developing and implementing Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCP) for children with special needs.

The Ombudsman's investigation into the council's handling of the situation revealed a series of missteps, particularly in communication and planning. Despite the family's repeated efforts to secure an appropriate educational setting for their child, identified only as B, the council's inaction and lack of effective communication led to B missing crucial educational opportunities. The LGO's report criticized the council for its delay in issuing a final EHCP and for overlooking the family's concerns about B's ability to travel long distances to school, which affected B's potential to learn and thrive.

In response to the findings, Wirral Council has taken full responsibility for the errors identified by the Ombudsman. The council has extended its apologies to the family and has compensated them for the distress and educational setbacks encountered. Furthermore, the council has committed to improving its services for children with special educational needs, focusing on reducing delays in the development and implementation of EHCPs. This includes staff training updates to ensure all personnel are aware of their responsibilities in making alternative provisions for children unable to attend school. . . .


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