Bromley Council paid out £750 to a mum after failing to amend a child’s care plan for three years.

The authority was warned in a recent Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman report when it was found a child had the wrong school listed on their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

The ombudsman said that a child with complex medical and special educational needs, named Y in the report, was attending a primary school in 2020.

At the annual review for Y’s care plan in March 2021, it was suggested they be moved to a specialist school.

The child’s mother, named Ms X in the report, visited the school in May 2021 and Bromley Council issued a draft EHC plan to her in July 2021 regarding the new school.

Ms X said she wanted more time to comment on the draft in September 2021, when her child started at the school, because she wanted more occupational therapy (OT) provision.

The authority reportedly commissioned an independent OT report in March 2022 which recommended weekly 1:1 sessions, with the OT visiting school staff twice a term to provide indirect therapy.

The new school carried out an annual review in March 2023, but Y’s EHC plan still named their old school as the draft plan from July 2021 had never been finalised.

Bromley Council told Ms X in July 2023 that it would finalise Y’s EHC plan within eight weeks, but this plan was never sent.

The report added that Y is now out of school.

The ombudsman criticised the council in their report for failing to produce a final EHC plan after the annual reviews in 2021 and 2022, as well as not writing to Ms X to inform her on the status of the plan.

The mother also complained about the support detailed in Y’s care plan not being provided. The council claimed to the ombudsman that it told the specialist school to give a greater degree of 1:1 support to Y but that this was not completed.

The authority acknowledged the support that Y had missed and offered additional OT sessions to the family.

The council was told to apologise to Ms X and pay her £750 for the distress and uncertainty caused.

The authority was also instructed to issue both the draft and final versions of Y’s EHC plan and provide Ms X with the contact details of the OT to arrange sessions directly.

Bromley Council was approached for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.