This case is an interesting one and very usual given the level of fault found and the payment recommended by the Local Government Ombudsman ("the LGO").
The LGO considered that the Local Authority ("LA") should pay the family £600 a month for the period on non-provision. The period being September 2016 to June 2017, totalling £6000.
This amount is at the upper end of the range the LGO would usually recommend for loss of education, however, this case was considered to warrant such an amount because:
- there was no suitable provision provided during this period;
- an EHCP was in place for the entire period and the provision in this was not made;
- due to the child's medical needs the LGO could not recommend additional or alternative provision now as a remedy as it seems unlikely the child would be able to manage this; and
- the non-provision took place in year 10 of the child's education which is an important educational year in relation to public examinations.
Clearly this is an extreme case, however, it is a stark reminder to LAs that they have a duty to provide a suitable education for all children, including those with SEN, disability and medical needs.
The failure to ensure any suitable provision was made to X between September 2016 and June 2017 caused X injustice as he has been denied access to all educational opportunities during this period and it seems he was well enough to manage the provision detailed in his EHCP for virtually all of this period. There is no medical evidence to support the Council’s contention that the “main reason that the provision in the EHCP not being put in place fully was due to X not being well enough to engage with it. This unfortunately still remains the case”.