SPECIAL Educational Needs services in Hampshire are under review after a pupil missed out on three months of schooling, it has been revealed.

Hampshire County Council has said it will review the resources it had put into its Special Educational Needs (SEN) team to decide whether it is sufficient enough to carry out its workload within statutory timescales.

It has also agreed to pay thousands of pounds in compensation.

This comes after a mother complained to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman that her son had missed out on three months of education and SEN support, because the council delayed issuing his amended Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

The mother said her son, who has Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), had been attending a mainstream primary school with 25 hours a week one-to-one support.

But when it became apparent the boy could no longer attend, the council did not act quickly enough to put in place alternative education meaning that he had three months of “inadequate” SEN provision followed by three months of missed education.

The ombudsman’s investigation has found the council delayed the statutory process at times, and wrongly told the mother the EHC Plan could be issued more quickly if she withdrew her comments.

It also found that the council did not do enough to provide alternative education for the boy while it waited for a place at a suitable school.

The Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member for Children’s Services will now carry out the review.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “This case, and three others I have recently issued about services for children with SEND in the county, highlight the significant impact delays can have on families when councils do not complete their duties within the statutory timescales.“I am pleased the council has accepted my recommendations in this case and hope the review of services it has agreed to make will ensure children with SEN in Hampshire are better served in future.”

The council has apologised and agreed to pay the mother £3,000 compensation.

A council spokesperson said: “We always try to do our level best to get things right first time for Hampshire residents, and we take all complaints very seriously. Where we haven’t been able to resolve things directly with the member of the public, we work closely with the Ombudsman to resolve any issues raised and improve our services along the way.

“In this case, we have complied with all the recommendations set out in the Ombudsman’s report, including issuing a formal apology to the parent and making a payment of £3,300 in compensation.

“We have also made improvements to our special educational needs and disability service processes and practices to ensure that, going forward, agreed changes to Educational, Health and Care Plans are made promptly, so that the final Plan is issued as quickly as possible, and within the statutory deadlines.”