COUNCILS in our region are among those fined over failures to provide alternative education to children unable to attend school.

Sick, disabled and bullied youngsters have missed out on their education due to failures by local authorities across the country, an investigation found.

Newsquest’s Data Investigations Unit uncovered figures that showed councils have shelled out more than £45,000 in compensation since 2015.

In 2015, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman ordered South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council to apologise and pay £1,500 to the family of a disabled child who missed months of schooling due to ill health and subsequent failings from the authority in exploring alternatives for her education.

To "remedy the injustice", the Ombudsman said the should council review whether it could offer further support to the teen in her college courses and said the authority should also consider how it captures information from independent schools concerning those children who struggle with education andrequire help or a transfer to a different school.

Last year, City of York Council paid out £750 after failing to properly draw up an Educational Health Care Plan in relation to a teen who had been removed from school due to bullying.

The Ombudsman found that the council had not completed the EHCP in time, meaning an “unreasonable delay” exacerbated problems with the girl taking up a post-16 course and contributed to a vacuum in terms of her education provision.

The Department for Education says local authorities must ensure children receive a suitable education if they are unable to attend school for an extended period of time due to illness or other reasons.

Complaints to the Ombudsman from families of children unable to attend school rose nationally from 37 in 2015/16 to 50 in 2017/18, with the number upheld almost doubling.