Suffolk County Council has been ordered to pay out more than £4,000 to a Suffolk father to remedy the 'distress', 'time and trouble' caused to his son with special educational needs.

East Bergholt-based Steve Wright, 54, says his son has lost his entire secondary education due to the lack of provision for children with special sducational needs (SEN) in the county.

East Anglian Daily Times: East Bergholt-based Steve Wright, 54.East Bergholt-based Steve Wright, 54. (Image: Steve Wright)

"It's been horrific," he said.

"Like watching a car crash in slow motion. My son is nearly 16 and I've been fighting the council for five years. 

"We have a hell of a lot of damage to get over."

Having moved to Suffolk in 2017, Mr Wright's son has "lurched from one placement to another", attending a total of six different schools.

Now, Mr Wright has taken the case to the ombudsman which agreed that his concerns were raised to the council before the 2021/2022 academic year.

The decision letter goes on to say: "The council did not act on these concerns and put in place all the required provision set out in [Mr Wright's son's] EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan)."

To remedy this, the ombudsman has suggested that the council apologises in writing to Mr Wright and his son, and pay £4,250 to him.

This figure is meant to cover the loss of educational provision, loss of therapy support and an acknowledgment of "the distress they experienced as a result of the uncertainty the council's faults caused them".

A total of £250 of this figure covers the "time and trouble" Mr Wright had to get the council to respond to and address his concerns.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed that the deadline for payment will be fully adhered to.

They added: "We acknowledge the ombudsman's ruling and continue to comply with the agreed actions outlined in the report.

"We are carrying out a significant programme of reform in the way we deliver special educational needs provision for children and young people in Suffolk and have made substantive improvement."