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Council criticised after education plan left child “isolated and anxious” – South London News

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By Kiro Evans, Local Democracy Reporter

A council has been criticised after a delay in issuing an educational plan led to a child feeling “isolated and extremely anxious”.

The Local Government Ombudman said Bromley council should have acted quicker to help assess whether a school child needed special education help.

The council has now paid out more than £2,000 after being found at fault.

The child’s grandmother, known only as Mrs J, wanted the boy, known as M, to undergo an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHC).

He was attending school only 54 per cent of the time due to his mental health issues, with M also having a history of self-harm.

The council agreed to assess M in April 2020, which means the final EHC plan should have been issued within six weeks under EHC rules.

But they only sent Mrs J several draft EHC plans in March 2021, after many consultations with medical services.

Bromley council sent a final consultation in October 2021 which involved the boy going to a different school, but the offer came in 15 months after the deadline.

Mrs J complained about the time it took to receive the EHC plan, with the council’s delay due to waiting for expert advice.

She said the delay in getting his education sorted left her grandson “isolated and increasingly anxious”.

The Ombudsman found fault with the delay, and also criticised the council not reviewing whether to increase M’s hours in education.

Bromley Council has been contacted for comment.

Pictured top: Bromley civic centre (Picture: Google Street View)

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