Teenager awarded £7,200 after being left without a school place for 14 months

A student has received £7,200 in compensation after being left without a school place for 14 months Credit: PA

Leicestershire County Council have agreed to pay £7,200 and apologise to a student who was left without a school place for nearly 14 months.

The Year 10 pupil was without education provision from early January 2019 to the end of February 2020, due to a lack of places at nearby academy schools.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman criticised the council - saying it did not do enough to compel academies to take action.

Leicestershire County Council have agreed to pay the teenager £7,200 Credit: ITV News Central

The LGCSO said they also did not do enough to ensure alternative arrangements were put in place while a school place was being found, when she was due to take her GCSE exams.

The teenager was finally offered a place at the beginning of June 2020.

This case highlights the problems many parents and councils now face following the widespread academisation of schools. Academies have their own admissions arrangements, and councils have limited powers to ensure the admissions of pupils in those schools.

I hope the additional improvements it has agreed will help ensure it is better prepared to react when other children find themselves in a similar situation.

Michael King, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

We take all complaints seriously and we apologise for the unacceptable delays which led to this pupil being without a school place for so long. We have agreed to pay a sum of money to be used for her educational benefit, along with some compensation to her mother for any distress and confusion caused.

We are reviewing our procedures and will be providing refresher training to our officers around school admissions and fair access protocol.

Deborah Taylor, Leicestershire County Council's lead member for children and families

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