Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire council sorry over ADHD boy's tuition

A county council has apologised for failing to make adequate provision for the education of a boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The mother of the 15-year-old said his Gloucestershire school did not meet his needs and removed him in October 2007.

The alternative school the council recommended could not accommodate him and he had part-time home tuition.

The authority said it had now changed its admissions policies for special needs children.

It agreed to pay the mother £6,500 in compensation.

The local government ombudsman criticised Gloucestershire County Council for its failure to make adequate provision for the 15-year-old boy's education from February to May 2008.

The council named a school on a statement of special educational needs in January, but it could not accommodate him.

'Bore responsibility'

The ombudsman said the authority should have ensured full-time tuition was in place from 1 February.

The boy received 10 hours of home education a week for just more than four months. It was then increased to to 25 hours a week, or full-time, from 26 May.

His mother had to take time off from work to look after him while he received part-time tuition.

The council had argued the mother bore some responsibility as she withdrew her son from school.

The authority agreed to pay the mother £6,500 compensation including £5,000 for loss of earnings, £500 for "distress, time and trouble", and £1,000 for loss of educational provision.

The ombudsman also recommended the council reviewed its policy for providing full-time tuition for pupils who were not in school for reasons other than exclusion or sickness, and apologised to the mother.

Duncan Jordan, interim group director of children's services at the council, said: "This was an unusual and complex case, falling outside of our existing policies for children who have been taken out of school.

"As a direct result, we have now changed our admissions protocol for pupils with special needs as well as improving the way we monitor the way cases progress.

"All of these changes should prevent a situation like this occurring again.

"We apologise to the family for any distress caused by the child's time spent out of education."

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