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‘CHAOS’: Judicial review finds evidence of systemic failings in Hertfordshire’s SEND service

 Published on: 9th January 2024   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Watford councillor has spoken out following a judicial review into failings in the county’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision, as first uncovered by an Ofsted report.

It was found that out of 91 appeals for a child to be given an Education Health and Care Plan in 2021/22, 79 were not completed within the statutorily required 20-week deadline.

The judge said: “[This] suggests that, in the case of parents who sought to exercise their right of appeal… the Local Authority accepted that it had made an erroneous decision in 86 per cent of cases.”

Watford councillor Mark Watkin said: “This case has revealed a service that was in chaos and instead of carrying out its duty and responsibility for the young people in its community, in its confusion became heartless and cruel. The defence it presented confirmed the picture revealed in the latest Ofsted review, which found it to be inadequate.

“There is absolutely no excuse that the most vulnerable members of our society should be abandoned in this way.”

Hertfordshire County Council has been contacted for comment.

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