Friday, 19 October 2012

Local Authority Accountability

Q: Our problems have consistently risen following Annual Reviews and putting into place therapy which has been evidenced and documented each time. They considerably delayed OT provision following tribunal direction and the LGO found they had acted with maladministration. This was after being criticised in tribunal by the judge for ignoring the report for seven months and for not acting upon it.They don't learn from their mistakes because they are not penalised or held accountable.

IPSEA's answer: Yes, this is a major failing in the current system that we do not see being improved in the proposed system. No one is pro-actively responsible for ensuring that Local Authorities (LAs) meet their duties towards our children. Even the SEND Tribunal does not (and will not) have the power to report persistently offending LAs to either someone like the DfE or Local Government ombudsman. Currently if a LA does not fulfil their duty it is for individual parents to take up their child's case - ultimately via Judicial Review. This is a "hammer to crack a nut" solution. It is costly in time, money and emotion. 

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