£1.3k payment to child with special educational needs after Peterborough City Council failings
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The payments follow a complaint made by the individual’s family over a failure to provide a laptop when required to do so and for failing to investigate physical assaults on the young person.
The council has also agreed to apologise to the family and take further action.
A report outlining the failings has been made public by the authority following an investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman into the complaint from the family.
The report reveals that the complainants are a family which includes a young person with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which stipulated that they should be provided with a laptop.
However, this was not carried out.
Moreover, a complaint was raised “in regard to the failure of the local authority to consider making a safeguarding referral after it had been notified that the same young person had been the victim of physical assaults while at school.
“Following a safeguarding referral, made by Ofsted, the local authority failed to investigate the matters appropriately and failed to effectively communicate with the family.”
EHCPs identify educational, health and social needs for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and set out the additional support they require.
No identifying details of the family have been released in order to protect their anonymity.
The compensation was awarded in recognition of the council’s failings and due to the “time and trouble” the young person’s mother had been put through.
The council said it had also agreed with the LGO to undertake the following actions:
- Issue an apology to the parent and young person;
- Place a note and a copy of this decision alongside the safeguarding records so that anyone accessing the records is aware of the failings identified
- Review its procedures to ensure that when it is notified that a child or young person is not receiving the provision set out in an EHCP it takes robust action to ensure the provision is promptly put in place
- Remind its education officers that they should make a safeguarding referral if they are concerned that a child may be suffering physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect or is at risk of significant harm
- Review the way it deals with safeguarding referrals from Ofsted.
The LGO cannot compel the council do what it suggests, but if the authority was to disagree with the suggested remedy the LGO could write a formal report which would be made public.