SEND system in “crisis” warns ombudsman as complaints rise 45 per cent

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are increasingly being failed by the system with the number of complaints about support provided to them “rising at an alarming level”, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has warned.
A report by the ombudsman about the education, health and care (EHC) plan process reveals it is now upholding nearly nine out of every 10 (87 per cent) cases it investigates – compared with 57 per cent across all cases it looks at. In 2018/19 the ombudsman received 45 per cent more complaints and carried out 80 per cent more detailed investigations about EHC plans than in 2016/17. It found that serious issues include severe delays of up to 90 weeks when issuing a plan, a requirement for the process to take no longer than 20 weeks.
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