Sheffield mum awarded compensation over school complaint

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall

A mum has been awarded compensation after Sheffield Council failed to arrange a secondary school place for her son.

The unnamed parent – known as Mrs X – complained to the Local Government Ombudsman that the council had delayed finalising her son’s education and health care plan and had delayed allocating a secondary school place for him.

She also complained about poor communication and said the council hadn’t handled her complaints effectively.

The Ombudsman agreed the council was at fault and ordered it to pay Mrs X £1,500 for the injustice caused.

In a report, the Ombudsman said: “Mrs X complained about the council’s delay in transferring her son’s Statement of Special Educational Needs to an Education, Health and Care plan between September 2015 and October 2017.

“Mrs X also complained about the way the council decided which school was suitable for her son and the delay in allocating a place for him.

“She complained the council sent an early draft of the plan, that she had not seen, to her second choice of school, which meant it made a decision about whether it could meet her son’s needs based on inaccurate information.

“The council agreed to fund private maths tuition for her son until staff at his new school could be trained to provide it but Mrs X says it delayed in reimbursing her for these costs and in arranging the staff training.

“Mrs X complains about the council’s poor communication with her and its ineffective complaints handling.”

The council has apologised to Mrs X and will pay compensation. It has also made changes to its processes to prevent similar faults happening again.

The full report can be read here https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/education/special-educational-needs/17-014-246