A GIRL missed out on education for 17 months because of county council failings, a report has found.

An application for the girl, who was 14 in September, took months to be processed even though the council said it should have been dealt with immediately.

The authority initially blamed the school she applied to, but eventually accepted it could have worked harder to get her a place there.

Read also: Deadline looms for primary school applications

It has now been ordered to pay the girl’s family £3,000 in compensation to go towards her education.

According to a report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, the girl moved to Oxfordshire in December 2016.

Before moving here, she received tuition at home for three-and-a-half hours a week.

Because she suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and it was considered unsuitable for her to attend school in Oxfordshire, her mother applied to the council’s hospital school service.

The hospital school runs a service connecting children who are unwell to normal schools around the county so they can get an education.

Read also: Council U-tuns on massive mental health cuts

The girl’s application through the service to be registered with an unnamed school was recorded by the council in January 2017 but she was only placed on the school’s roll in December that year.

The report said it took ‘far longer than the normal two weeks’ that it should have taken.

Overall, delays grew so the girl missed out on education for a month between March and May 2017, seven months from May to December 2017 – excluding the summer holidays – and four months between January and April 2018.

The council blamed the unnamed school for the delay to the application. The school said a lack of staff in its admissions team was ‘partly responsible’. The council said it should have placed the girl on its roll ‘without further comment’.

Read also: Council might owe even more cash after Carillion crash

While the ombudsman said the council was not to blame for the school’s delay, it ‘had a responsibility to step in'.

Although it was formally settled in September, the report was only published online within the last few weeks.

A council spokesman said: “We apologise to the family for these issues.

"We accept and agree that the concerns raised in the report were not acceptable and will use these to inform our practice, policies and procedures moving forward to ensure that circumstances such as this are not repeated.”

Councils must arrange suitable education at schools or in other places when pupils are placed out of school because of exclusion, illness or other reasons.

They are not told to do it within a certain time – but usually it should be arranged if an absence will last for more than 15 days.