Agenda item

Report of the Director of Children and Young People's Futures (CS/22/07) on the Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Public Interest Case, attached.


RESOLVED that the Report and actions to date be noted


(Councillors Adams and Brazil attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Children and Young People's Futures (CS/22/07) on a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Public Interest Case.


Following a discussion at Council on 26 May 2022, the Cabinet Member for Childrens Services and Schools agreed for the public interest report to be presented at a future Cabinet Meeting and also the opportunity to provide the additional findings of the new Interim SEN Strategic Director.


The Ombudsman press release (3 March 2022) and associated Report could be found here -


A previous public interest Report had been considered at a meeting of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, therefore in line with this the Public Interest report had been presented to the Childrens Scrutiny Committee on 15 March 2022.


The case summary reflected the public interest because the Council had failed to respond adequately to a parent who had made a complaint about the Council’s failure to provide their child with adequate education provision from the point at which they were due to transfer to post-16 education in September 2019. The family had not been offered the option to escalate their complaint to a Stage two process, due to the emergency response to the pandemic, and the stage two process being temporarily removed.


The LGCSO had been told that due to the failings, Ms M;s child missed out on educational provision and specialist support for her special educational needs. In addition, because the child was not in education, she stopped receiving tax credits and this caused unnecessary financial hardship as well as unnecessary stress. This resulted in the LGSCO report which was also circulated with the agenda. The Service accepted all of the recommendations immediately and was prompt in ensuring that all recommendations which had a direct impact on the family were completed within one month.


A response to the three-month recommendations was sent to the Ombudsman on 13 May 2022. It was further agreed that the Council would provide further documentary evidence and that the Service provided ‘updated information about the educational and special needs support and provision it was making for Ms M and that this accorded with the current EHC Plan’. The team had continued to make regular contact to engage in order to update the EHC Plan. The reassessment was planned to be considered on the 6 July 2022, however they had indicated they do not want to remain in education, therefore there had been work with colleagues in Adult Services to discuss what support might be available.


The Interim Director had personal oversight of the case and had undertaken more detailed investigations as part of her improvement work. In order to achieve the overall required improvements to the SEND, services must engage with children, young people and families in a way that was empathetic and deliver effective change that inspired families and partners to have confidence in the service.


The Interim Director had put tactical strategies in place to make improvements at pace, which were outlined in full at paragraph 16 of the Report.  An assessment of the SEN service was presented to a Scrutiny SEND Masterclass on 18 May 2022. 


The Cabinet noted it was normal practice to have periodic meetings with the LGSCO and the Council was arranging a meeting between the Interim Director for SEN and the LGSCO point of contact to build relationships with them.


It was MOVED by Councillor Leadbetter, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and


RESOLVED that the Report and actions to date be noted.

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