More than £78,000 has been paid out to families making educational complaints in Suffolk in just one year - the majority of cases relating to special educational needs provision.

Records of complaints upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSO) show that, from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, Suffolk County Council has paid out a total of £78,130.

Most of these complaints related to the council's failure to create adequate education, health and care plans (EHCPs) and provide full-time education to children with special educational needs.

This ranks Suffolk as the second worst county in England, following closely behind Surrey for upheld LGSCO education complaints.

Last month, Suffolk County Council was ordered to pay out more than £4,000 to Steve Wright, 54, to remedy the 'distress', 'time and trouble' caused to his son with special educational needs.

East Anglian Daily Times: East Bergholt-based father Steve Wright, 54, has a son with special educational needs.East Bergholt-based father Steve Wright, 54, has a son with special educational needs. (Image: Steve Wright)

The East Bergholt-based father said the last five years of his 15-year-old child's education has been "like watching a car crash in slow motion".

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"As parents, we're not seeing any improvements," said Mr Wright.

"It's just shocking. We keep getting told that new places are being opened, but nothing seems to change for our children."

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Many of the complaints behind these figures are actually historic and pre-date the independent Lincolnshire Review.

"We are focused on improving, and our performance is comparable to other similar councils.

“We take all complaints seriously and respond to all recommendations from the LGSCO.

"SEND is a priority for Suffolk County Council.”