Greenwich Council has been found at fault for failing to provide education to a child on long term absence, an investigation has revealed.

This follows a recent FOI request to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman which revealed that the London borough was one of 28 councils across the country which have been told to pay out thousands of pounds in the last three years for failing in their legal duty to provide education for children who, for illness or other reasons, have been unable to attend school for long periods.

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Norfolk County Council was fined the most as the authority agreed to pay out on four separate occasions, adding up to a total of £9,580.14.

An investigation conducted by the Newsquest Data Investigations Unit has also shown that Greenwich Council were forced to pay out £1,350 to a complainant in 2017 after it was found to have "unnecessarily delayed" an SEN child's transition between schools for 13 months.

A woman, named as Miss Y in the Ombudsman's report, had complained that the council failed to provide an education for a child, named X, who had a full statement of special educational needs, between December 2013 and January 2015.

The council had already offered £1200 to remedy the injustice but there was evidence of further fault as the Council did not ensure that X’s provision for specialist dyslexia teaching and occupational therapy was in place at one school he was placed in.

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A further £150, with an apology, was then paid to the complainant in light of that issue.

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Community Safety said: "The welfare of every child in our borough is a high priority for us and we are continually reviewing and improving our policies and procedures.

"We learn from any out of the ordinary experience, which allows us to ensure appropriate measures are taken to prevent similar instances in the future."

Founder and CEO of the children's education charity Achievement for All, Professor Sonia Blandford, has said that drastic improvement is needed to ensure all children are prepped for their lives ahead.

"The UK education system is struggling to meet the needs of at least one in five children and young people: the disadvantaged, vulnerable and underachieving, 20 per cent of children who are unprepared for their lives post 16, whether in education, training or employment.

"Failing to provide support for children who have a long-term sickness is among the many reasons why there are gaps in the current system."