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87% of SEND complaints are being upheld by the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman – 2019 report confirms

In its new report ‘Not going to plan? – Education, Health and Care plans two years on the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman confirms that it is upholding 87% of complaints relating to SEND disputes.

The report confirms that delays of over 1 year when issuing an EHCP are not uncommon. It also confirms that it has received 45% more complaints in 2018-2019 than it did in 2016-2017.

Ombudsman Michael King says:-

“We are now upholding almost nine in 10 investigations we carry out about Education, Health and Care plans. This is exceptional and unprecedented in our work. Two years ago when the system was bedding in, we were concerned we were upholding around 80% of investigations. That we are investigating and upholding significantly more complaints two years later suggests a system in crisis.

“I am now particularly concerned some authorities may be putting in place extra barriers to ration scarce resources, rather than basing support on children’s needs. While I can empathise with the difficulties authorities face, there can never be an excuse for failing to meet the statutory rights of children.

“I hope this report puts the children and their families’ experiences in the spotlight and the battles they face, and ultimately more urgency on the whole SEND system improving.”

This report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman highlights some of the real issues which are weighing down the SEND system. You can download the report here.


We’ve begun a series of blog posts aimed at de-mystifying the SEND process. Make sure to check back regularly to see our latest articles. here are some examples which might be useful:-

Not sure what an EHCP is? Read our blog explaining it all here.

How to request an EHCP – explained here.

How to appeal a decision in a SEND dispute – explained here.

All blog articles here.

Joseph Mulrooney and Dominic Collis are both accredited by the Civil Mediation Council to provide SEND Mediation services.

Posted in SEND mediation

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Did you know?

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Since 1990, the total value of mediated cases in England & Wales is £110 billion.

20th January 2017

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