Dozens of children with special needs have been ‘left in limbo’ after Slough Borough Council failed to meet 2019 school allocation deadlines.

The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by specialist education law experts at Simpson Millar – who specialises in helping families bring legal action against local councils when a deadline has been missed.

They revealed that in 2019 delays were reported for 23 children within Slough Borough Council's boundaries, amounting to 26 per cent of the 88 children in the area with an Education and Health Care Plan in place.

Specialist education expert Imogen Jolley from Simpson Millar said: “The February deadline was crucial for parents who needed time to prepare their children – many of whom need additional support during times of change - for the transition, and for those who wish to appeal the provision or placement set out in the plan.

“The fact that Slough Borough Council have been unable to meet the deadline is quite concerning and hugely upsetting for parents.

"By missing the deadline, it means that parents have less time to appeal a decision, and because of this it’s not uncommon for children to miss the start of the school year while the appeal process takes place."

A spokesman for Slough Borough Council said: "The Slough Special Educational Needs and Disability Service works hard to ensure that we not only meet statutory deadlines but also obtain placements of parental preference. In some cases we need to work more closely with the school preferred by parents to alleviate the concerns the school might have in meeting the pupils' needs.

"Provision for pupils in those cases was not able to be confirmed by February 15, but the majority of those placements are now confirmed.

"There were also some instances where the parental preference for school changed while we were sourcing new placements. We therefore consulted with the new school of preference but this delayed the confirmation of a place.

"The Slough SEND team are happy to discuss the phase transfer process further with any parents. The team can be contacted on 01753 787676."