A Suffolk parent of a child with special educational needs (SEND) says they have been "left in limbo" by the council over appropriate education for their ten-year-old son.

Natasha Sones, who lives in Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, says the council has not provided an education, health and care plan (EHCP) for her child Logan within legal timeframes.

The ten-year-old has chronic anxiety and struggles attending school, and is awaiting an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessment.

The deadline for Logan's EHCP expired in February, but the family have not yet seen an educational psychologist, which would assess Logan and set out his needs in the document.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ten-year-old Logan and Lucas, 12.Ten-year-old Logan and Lucas, 12. (Image: Contributed)

The family says Suffolk County Council keeps apologising for the delay, but in the meantime Logan is missing out on school.

Ms Sones said: "We are in limbo. Anxiety is an educational need because it has been stopping Logan from attending school for the last few months. He doesn't sleep.

"The EHCP would allow his needs to be properly assessed through an educational psychologist, so schools could meet his needs.

"My child hasn't yet seen an educational psychologist as there is a national shortage, but the council has a legal duty to employ a private one, but they are refusing to.

"Just because there is a shortage doesn't mean they cannot employ a private one. It's coming down to money."

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The mum-of-three added: "There are thousands of us in the same boat. It's so frustrating having to constantly fight for your child's education. This is a legal deadline they are just ignoring.

"It's especially frustrating to see government campaigns from the Department for Education that tell us that attendance matters and every moment counts.

"It doesn't seem to count with children with special educational needs."

The news comes after a damaging Ofsted report into Suffolk's services for children with SEND criticised "widespread and/or systemic failings" in the local area partnership in January.

Local authorities face a legal deadline to finalise an EHCP within 20 weeks of the initial request for assessment, but the council has said there is a shortage of educational psychologists.

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council said: “Unfortunately, a shortage of education psychologists across the country affects waiting times for education, health and care needs assessment for children and young people in Suffolk.

“We are doing all we can to address this shortage, including contracting with a provider of educational psychology advice, using private education psychologists and working with the University of East Anglia to create new trainee opportunities.

"In the past year seven new educational psychologists have been recruited and that recruitment campaign is ongoing.”