Council ordered to pay mum £1,000 after failing to update daughter’s care plan – South London News

A local authority has been told to pay a mum £1,000 after failing to update her daughter’s care plan.

Bromley Council was criticized in a recent report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for its poor communication while managing annual assessments for a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The report said the authority reviewed the daughter’s EHCP in early June 2022 as her mainstream. school claimed they could no longer support her needs.

The council then told the mother, known as Miss X in the report, that it intended to amend the EHCP to ensure that her daughter. education the provision was adequate. But an amended EHCP was not issued after the June review.

Bromley Council It said it contacted several schools in the area, many of which told the authority in October and November they could not meet the child’s needs.

The ombudsman said a final EHCP was never issued following this 2022 review and it was only in November 2023 that the council started looking again for other schools.

The mother told the council in October 2022 that she was taking her daughter out of school to home-school her, based on advice from a local information and support service. She said she did so while waiting for a placement at a specialist school to become available.

A series of internal emails in November and December show the board was aware of this. The child’s CES caseworker was also said to have told a council officer in December that they were looking for a specialist placement for the child but that it may take some time to find one.

The authority admitted that it had not fully considered its duties at this time, such as checking how the child’s education would be provided and checking that Miss X was aware of her responsibilities.

Bromley Civic Centre, located in Stockwell Close (Image: Joe Coughlan)

It appears that the authority held another EHCP assessment with Miss X in May 2023, where the mother was given information about the support available to her while she was home educating. This included ways to access a household support fund and grocery vouchers.

The mother complained to the board in August 2023 as she still had not found a school placement.

The council then carried out another review of the child’s EHCP in September 2023, in which the authority apologized for its poor communication while dealing with the case. He added that the mother’s former case assistant moved to another team.

It was agreed at the end of October that the council would give the child 25 hours of schooling a week.

The ombudsman criticized Bromley council’s conduct because delays in issuing the EHCP meant Miss X could not appeal such decisions.

The authority was instructed to pay Miss X £1,000 in recognition of the avoidable distress and uncertainty caused and in view of the education her daughter lacked, which equated to around half a term.

A Bromley council spokesman said: “Bromley council has already acknowledged the difficulties it faced in developing this EHCP prior to the ombudsman’s involvement. It admitted the complaint, co-operated fully with the ombudsman’s investigation and agreed to the proposed remedial action.

“The council is committed to giving every child in its borough the best possible education but sometimes struggles when the resources available, both within the council and from external agencies, are insufficient to provide the service we would like a growing number of people. families seeking support. This is the same for all other local authorities in the country.”

Pictured above: Bromley Civic Centre, located in Stockwell Close (Image: Joe Coughlan)

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