New children and education complaint decisions

A weekly update on children and education complaint decisions

Please note: our decisions are published six weeks after they are issued to councils, care providers and the person who has made the complaint. The cases below reflect the caselaw and guidance available at the time of issue and the individual circumstances of each case.

Summary: The Council was at fault for failing to arrange a review panel to consider Mr B’s complaint. It was also at fault for failing to apply for disability living allowance for Mr B while he was a looked-after child. However, it has already offered a suitable financial remedy to recognise his injustice.

Summary: Mr B complains about the Council’s failure to act after he raised concerns about his son’s behaviour. He says this led to his son self-harming and being arrested. The Council has already accepted fault and offered remedies. Because of this, there is no remaining injustice significant enough to justify our involvement, and we have discontinued our investigation.

Summary: Ms X complained that the Council failed to ensure all the provision in her son’s Education Health and Care Plan was put in place. We find that while there was some delay in putting in place some of the specific provision Ms X wanted, for the most part this was not the result of fault by the Council. In some cases there is evidence the support was provided. In others the Plan did not specify particular programmes to be used. There are two areas where support was lacking where the Council has agreed a remedy. The Council accepts it should have had more oversight of the provision and has provided details to the Ombudsman on improvements it has made in its procedures.

Summary: Mr B says the Council failed to properly consider his daughter’s school admissions appeal. There is no evidence the appeal panel properly considered the two stages of the appeal process. The Council’s arrangements for a further appeal is satisfactory remedy.

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about an incident during an adult education class. This is because the law prevents from investigating complaints about the provision of education.

Summary: Mr C says the Council was at fault for the way in which it investigated safeguarding concerns involving his wife’s children. He says the Council caused him and his family injustice in the form of distress by being inconsiderate and intrusive. Mr C complained using the statutory complaints procedure which involves an independent investigation and review panel. This process found the Council to be at fault for numerous failures in the investigation. The Council’s complaints procedure was too slow but the Ombudsman considers the findings of that process to be fair. We have recommended a remedy for the injustice caused.

Summary: Ms X complained her family were not well supported by the Council as kinship carers, leading to the children being removed from their care. The Ombudsman does not normally re-investigate complaints that have been independently considered through the children’s statutory complaints procedure and we find this case has correctly followed the steps. However we find fault with the Council for initially refusing to progress Ms X’s complaint to Stage 3. This caused injustice and the Council has agreed to apologise and make a financial remedy.

Summary: Mrs X complained the Council did not implement all of the recommendations as agreed following an investigation into her complaint under the children’s statutory complaints procedure. She also complained the Council did not explain why her child did not meet the criteria to receive funding for the requested support. There was no fault by the Council.

Summary: Mrs X complained the Council failed to investigate her complaints under the children’s statutory complaints procedure. The Council delayed by six months in providing a stage 1 response to Mrs X’s complaints. It should apologise, pay Mrs X £180 and move without further delay to stage 2 of the procedures.

Summary: We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the Council’s social work intervention with her family in 2011. Ms X complains late and could have complained sooner.

Summary: Mr and Mrs B complained that the Council failed to make appropriate educational provision for their daughter when she was unable to attend school because of ill-health. They also say there were failings in the way the Council dealt with her education, health and care plan (EHCP). We found the Council delayed in issuing the EHCP and failed to properly explain the procedure to Mr and Mrs B. There is also uncertainty about whether the Council told them they could cancel the online tuition program they had arranged. These failings caused the family distress and anxiety. In recognition of this, the Council has agreed to apologise to Mr and Mrs B and make a payment to them.

Summary: Mr B complained that the Council failed to secure the provision set out in his son’s education, health and care plan. The Ombudsman finds that the Council failed to provide counselling for Mr B’s son as required by the plan. The Council has agreed to make a payment to Mr and Mrs B in recognition of the time and trouble they were put to in arranging counselling themselves.

Summary: Miss X complains about an unsuccessful appeal for a place at her preferred school for her daughter. We find no fault with the way the panel considered Miss X’s appeal.

Summary: Mr X complains the Council neglected his daughter B’s teeth for five months while she was on a child protection plan. We found fault because the Council did not properly update or record decisions about B’s teeth before removing the matter from the child protection plan, so Mr X was not kept updated. We have recommended a suitable remedy in this case so have completed our investigation.

Summary: Ms X complained that the Council failed to support her when she was having difficulty in managing her teenage daughter’s challenging behaviours and she felt forced to agree for her to be placed in the care of the Council. We do not find fault on this aspect of the complaint. The Council has accepted fault in other matters and has apologised. We have recommended a small payment to support the apologies provided.

Summary: Mrs F has complained about a Trust and Council in relation to a child protection case involving her niece, Miss G’s child. I found fault with the Trust in obtaining an x-ray report from an unsuitably qualified radiologist. However, this fault did not lead to the injustice Mrs F has claimed and the Trust is making service improvements. In addition, I do not find fault with the Council’s actions.