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Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Report

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Report - updates

Update 31 July: Publication of response to the audit from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The completed independent audit has been submitted to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman who has responded that he is satisfied with the audit report and the actions that are being taken by the Council and Achieving for Children. 

You can read the response from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in this letter dated 27 July 2020 (pdf)

Update:22 July: AfC and Richmond Parent Carer Forum joint statement on LGSCO Auditor Report

Read the joint statement (pdf)

Auditors' Report Published 

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) published a report (opens a new window) on 14 January 2020 criticising Richmond Council and Achieving for Children for not effectively supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Ian Dodds, Director of Children's Services at Richmond Council, issued this response (opens a new window) to the Ombudsman's report on the day that it was published.

The LGSCO recommended that Richmond Council complete an audit of all Education, Health and Care Plans to determine whether any other children and young people with SEND had been affected by similar failings to those identified in his investigation. The audit was completed by a team of five independent auditors between February and April 2020.

The auditors used an online audit tool (opens a new window) to complete the audit. Parents and carers were also invited to submit their views and experiences in writing or by speaking with an auditor. 103 parents and carers chose to do this and their views have been included as part of their child's plan audit. The results from the online audit tool were collected in a spreadsheet with the yes/no answers to the questions and brief commentary from the auditors on any issues identified.

An example (using fictional personal details) of the audit feedback spreadsheet is available here.

No pass or fail grade was given to the audit; however, the detailed findings did enable the auditors to judge whether sufficient progress was being made in resolving issues with a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan, or whether it needed to be escalated to a senior manager for action because a child was not receiving the support he or she needed. 

The auditors' report sets out the full findings from their review, including 37 cases where children and young people with SEND have not received the support they need. The auditors' report identifies actions that must be taken immediately in these 37 cases and also makes 12 recommendations for improvement to services based on their review of all current Education, Health and Care Plans. An action plan building on the auditors' recommendations will be co-produced with representative parent groups.

Progress in implementing these actions will be monitored by the multi-agency SEND Partnership Board and the Council's Education and Children's Services Committee. 

The completed independent audit has been submitted to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman who has responded that he is satisfied with the audit report and the actions that are being taken by the Council and Achieving for Children. 

You can read the response from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in this letter dated 27 July 2020 (pdf)

Further information about the audit can be found in these Frequently Asked Questions (opens a new window) which were produced at the start of the audit to help parents and carers understand the background to the audit, the audit process, and how they could contribute their views and experiences confidentially to the audit team.