Autistic man had no schooling due to council’s lack of support, Ombudsman finds
A Derbyshire man missed most of his secondary education because the county council did not support his special educational needs sufficiently, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Because of the lack of support the man received throughout his entre time at secondary school, Derbyshire County Council has agreed to pay his mother more than £22,000 to reflect the impact this has had on him. Some of the money will be spent on a quiet space for when he needs time out.
The man, who is autistic, has learning difficulties and significant communication problems, received minimal schooling between 2009 and 2014. He started at a mainstream school but stopped attending regularly soon after. This meant he received none of the speech and language therapy (SALT) or extra support in his statement of special educational needs.
At the time, the school told Derbyshire County Council the boy was being educated elsewhere, but very little work was sent home. His behaviour worsened and his mother asked that he attend a special school. The council eventually agreed to this.
By 2014 the boy’s behaviour had deteriorated to the extent he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
The mother complained to Derbyshire County Council and the council’s own internal investigation found numerous faults with the way it handled the case. It found the support provided for the son was not effective and the services which would have helped him throughout his schooling were not put in place. The council reviewed areas of policy and practice as a result.
In addition to the council’s own findings, the Ombudsman’s investigation found the council’s annual reviews of the man’s education were “wholly ineffective” and did not take place after Year 10.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:
“I welcome the steps the council has already taken to apologise to the family, learn from its mistakes and improve its policies and procedures to ensure this should not happen again.
“And, while we cannot say to what extent the lack of therapy and support has had on the man’s condition, I am pleased it has also accepted my recommendation to pay the family an amount which should provide him with a space to manage his mental health.”
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s role is to remedy injustice and share learning from investigations to help improve public, and adult social care, services. In this case the council has agreed to pay the mother £22,500 to reflect the impact of her son’s missed education provision, to be held in trust. It will also pay the mother £1,000 for the distress and uncertainty its actions caused.
Latest News from
Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill laid in Parliament05/12/2016 12:37:21
A new complaints body will provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard.
Carolyn Hirst, Anu Singh and Linda Farrant join the Board as non-executive directors18/02/2020 14:15:00
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman are delighted to welcome Carolyn Hirst, Anu Singh and Linda Farrant to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's Board as non-executive directors.
Ombudsman reminds councils about care home top-up fees13/02/2020 09:15:00
Councils across England are being reminded by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman of their duties under the Care Act to administer ‘top-up fees’ for people contributing towards relatives’ care.
Luton to review some of its special educational needs services following Ombudsman’s investigation07/02/2020 14:15:00
Luton Borough Council has agreed to create a detailed action plan to improve some of its services for children with special educational needs after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman uncovered significant concerns during a recent investigation.
Derby girl misses out on education because of council delays06/02/2020 12:15:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Derby City Council after a girl with autism missed out on around 18 months of special education support because of council delays.
Daventry District Council fails to tackle industrial noise complaint properly30/01/2020 09:15:00
Some homeowners on a new housing development in the Daventry area have been plagued by excessive noise from a nearby industrial estate because the district council has not done enough to investigate their concerns, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman reports.
Council makes serious unsubstantiated allegations about asylum seeker during Ombudsman investigation23/01/2020 12:15:00
Sandwell council refused to let a vulnerable mother have her representative present at an important meeting – and made serious and unsubstantiated allegations about both of them during an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Nottinghamshire man’s care package reduced because of financial pressures, Ombudsman finds23/01/2020 09:15:00
A Nottinghamshire man with autism was left relying on his parents to part-fund his care when the county council cut his package without identifying a suitable alternative, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Ombudsman reminds councils of their foster carer school transport duties17/01/2020 13:20:00
Councils across England are being reminded about the financial support they must provide to foster carers’ school transport expenses following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman into Wolverhampton council.