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Decision Report 201708630

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    March 2020
  • Body:
    The Highland Council
  • Sector:
    Local Government
  • Outcome:
    Some upheld, recommendations
  • Subject:
    primary school


Ms C complained that the council failed to ensure that there was adequate support in place for her child (Child A) at school. The council had accepted that there were occasions when information about Child A was not taken into account and there were occasions when it was not fully shared. There was also insufficient up-to-date information for new staff at the school and there should have been more proactive partnership working with mental health services. In view of these failings, we upheld the complaint.

Ms C also complained that Child A's teacher had unreasonably failed to support them in class. We did not find any clear evidence of failings in relation to this and we did not uphold the complaint.

Ms C complained that the head teacher at the school unreasonably failed to fulfil their role as named person and lead professional under the Highland Practice Model. We found that the child's plan in place at the start of the school year had been out-of-date and there were then delays in updating this. We upheld this complaint.

Finally, Ms C complained that the council had failed to carry out a reasonable investigation into her complaints. We found that the council had carried out a thorough investigation, but that the response did not provide adequate information about the action the council would take to put things right or to ensure that the failings were not repeated. It also failed to adequately apologise for the failings identified. For these reasons, we upheld this complaint.


What we asked the organisation to do in this case:

  • Apologise to Ms C for the failings identified. The apology should meet the standards set out in the SPSO guidelines on apology available at HYPERLINK "http://www.spso.org.uk/leaflets-and-guidance" www.spso.org.uk/leaflets-and-guidance .

What we said should change to put things right in future:

  • Ensure that there is clear guidance in place for staff in relation to the relationship between a child's plan and co-ordinated support plan.
  • Where appropriate under the Highland Practice Model, there should be an up-to-date child's plan in place.

We have asked the organisation to provide us with evidence that they have implemented the recommendations we have made on this case by the deadline we set.

Updated: March 18, 2020