Dad to be compensated after council failed to give son correct speech and occupational therapy

Education chiefs failed to give a boy the right speech and occupational therapy and will have to compensate his father after he complained.

Greenwich council has been ordered to reimburse the parent after it failed to properly fulfill his son’s special educational needs.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman this week ruled the council was at “significant fault” by failing to provide occupational and speech therapy for the boy.

The youth had initially been signed on for an educational, health and care plan (EHCP) – an agreement outlining the extra resources a student with special or complex educational needs can receive – with Greenwich council in 2015.

The agreement included a commitment that the council would fund Occupational Therapy (OT) for the boy, as well as offering weekly activities under the supervision of a qualified speech and language therapist.

But the boy’s father complained to the council in August 2017, claiming that his son’s OT had been stopped in 2016, forcing him to pay for it.

There had also been no speech and language therapy.

The council responded acknowledging its error, stating the authority would fund the boy’s future OT, as well as pledging to reimburse the father the £840 he had paid out.

The authority also stated it would pay the father £500 to cover the delay in providing support to the student, and a further £500 for the father’s time and trouble.

But the father contacted the Ombudsman with additional complaints, including the claim that the council was yet to reimburse him.

In his investigations, the Ombudsman found the council at “significant fault” for failing to arrange and fund OT from 2016 to 2019.

The council was also found at fault for failing to provide speech and language therapy, with the boy missing out on more than two years’ support as a result.

The Ombudsman subsequently ordered the council to refund the father for what he had spent on his son, as well as paying him £500 for “time and trouble” caused.

The council was also told to take steps to minimise the risk of recurrence, which the authority agreed with.

A spokeswoman for Greenwich council said the authority wouldn’t comment on individual cases.

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