A teenager with severe autism missed out on educational and social care support due to failings by Staffordshire Council, a review by the local government ombudsman has found.
The ombudsman’s report, published today, found the authority did not review the teenager’s statement of special educational needs or follow the SEN Code of Practice for his transition to post-16 provision. As a result, his adult care needs were not assessed properly or promptly.
The boy, who has severe autism, became extremely distressed when he started college aged 16. An annual review meeting found he needed one-to-one support and recommended that his statement of SEN be amended.
His mother asked for his needs to be assessed again, and that he be transferred to a different school. But the council refused, believing his college was sufficient. His mother was forced to drive him to another school 15 miles away.
Local government ombudsman Jane Martin said: “Transition to adulthood is exceptionally difficult for the parents of a child with complex educational and care needs.
“It is vital that the proper support is in place to ensure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible, but that was not the case here.”
The ombudsman found maladministration by Staffordshire Council, which acknowledged its mistakes. The council agreed to pay £5,250 to the boy’s mother and install a swing-seat for the teenager in the garden of his home.
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails