A West London mum whose daughter with special needs wasn’t given French or religion tuition when she stopped going to school has been awarded £600.

The local government watchdog said Richmond Council failed to assess how much tuition the girl could get during her GCSEs.

The girl, referred to only as Y, has ADHD, autism spectrum condition, anxiety and dyslexia.

She stopped going to school in September 2020 and two months later, in November, she was given four tuition sessions a week instead.

But a report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found the seven hours of tuition a week Y was given by independent provider Achieving for Children (AfC) was not the “equivalent of full-time education”.

Although the report found fault with independent provider AfC, it said the council commissions the organisation so “remains responsible” for its services and actions.

The report said: “AfC has not provided evidence of how it assessed this was the number of hours tuition suitable for Y.

"Nor has it provided minutes of a planning meeting which is where its policy says the number of hours is decided.

"Failing to assess the number of hours suitable for Y was a fault. This fault caused uncertainty about the number of hours tuition the council would have offered Y if AfC had completed an assessment.

“Statutory guidance states councils must provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Mrs X asked the council to provide tuition to Y in all her GCSE subjects.

"AfC did not provide Y with tuition in French or Religion, two of her GCSE subjects.

"There is uncertainty about whether Y would have received tuition in these subjects if AfC assessed the number of hours of tuition Y could access and decided to increase her hours of tuition.”

The watchdog also slammed AfC’s policy used to arrange education for kids who are out of school. 

The report said: “AfC is at fault for having a policy that does not adhere to legislation and statutory guidance.

"This fault creates uncertainty about the provision the council would have offered Y if the 2020 policy had been consistent with the Education Act. 

"The injustice to Y is uncertainty about whether she would have been offered more tuition if the policy had adhered to legislation and statutory guidance.”

The council was told to pay the mum £600 for “uncertainty caused by the council’s failure to assess the amount of tuition she could access and for using a flawed policy to underpin its decision” and to make improvements.

A Richmond Council spokesperson said: “Richmond Council and Achieving for Children have responded immediately to the suggestions and actions from this report and apologised to the family.

“All recommendations have been included in the revised policy to ensure that alternative provision and processes are responsive and meet the needs of our young people.”