Young people in Redbridge under ‘stress and uncertainty’ after council failed to make educational plans on time

Children in a classroom. Photo PA.

Children in a classroom. Photo PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A lawyer has warned that Redbridge Council could face judicial proceedings after it failed to deliver 62 education plans for young people with special educational needs.

According to an Freedom of Information (FoI) obtained by law firm Simpson and Miller, the local authority only managed to arrange 17 plans by the September deadline.

That’s a mere 21 per cent of cases.

Young people with complex educational needs, require an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan to receive extra help and support.

It is a legal document drawn up by the local authority after an EHC assessment – describing that youngster’s special requirements, and the extra help the person will receive.

The council is legally obliged to put them in place, where required, a plan for young people in further education and training after a Learning Difficulties Assessment (LDA).

Without one these young people could find themselves without the necessary college support or placements.

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Thomas Mitchell, specialist education law solicitor at Simpson Millar, said: “Surely, a local authority can’t honestly claim that exceptional circumstances caused a delay in nearly 80pc of instances.

“For these young people, a delay in transferring their LDA to an EHC plan can add a huge amount of stress and uncertainty – something they neither need nor deserve.”

Across London 883 plans have not been delivered.

A spokeswomen from the council said: “The Department for Education (DfE) recognising the delay experienced by many local authorities regarding transitional arrangements for young people extended the deadline for transfers to EHCPs until December 31.

“We recognise the challenging position and have implemented an improvement plan to address the situation.

“We have ensured that young people in colleges who had LDAs and are in transition to EHC plans have been supported. We have also put additional arrangements in place to transfer any remaining young people with LDAs this term and expect to finalise plans by the new DFE deadlines.”