Norfolk County Council has paid compensation to a family after it failed to provide a boy with special needs a suitable education for nearly four months.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman was asked to investigate – for a second time – the council support given to the boy, who has not been named.

The ombudsman previously issued a report in October 2018 after it found the council had not ensured the boy had a suitable education for eight months. 

In the most recent case, the mother said the council again failed to provide her son with a suitable education after his school placement broke down, meaning he was without proper education for nearly four months last year. 

During that time, the mother had to pay for a tutor, the report, published this week, said. 

The council is to reimburse the mother the cost of paying for her son’s education for the period he was not in school.

It will also pay her £1,400 for the seven months the boy was without a suitable education and a further £250 for the distress, time and trouble she was put to, the report said.

The ombudsman also recommended that members  be provided with regular detailed analysis of the council’s special educational needs services, including updates about the number of children out of education.

Michael King, local government and social care ombudsman, said: “I am concerned Norfolk council has again failed this boy and not provided him with an education appropriate for his needs, despite being made aware the school he was attending was no longer suitable.

“When we published our last report about the family’s situation, the council made steps to improve its services, but it is clear more could be done to learn from its mistakes.

“I hope that by increasing the level of scrutiny from councillors, a way can be found to ensure other children and their families do not fall through the cracks as has happened in this case.”

Safer Summer Staycation