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Middlesbrough Borough Council (22 002 690)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 19 Jun 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about a child’s education and Special Educational Needs provision. This is because this matter is currently part of ongoing court proceedings.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will call Ms X, complains about how the Council has dealt with matters relating to her daughter’s education and Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We cannot investigate a complaint about the start of court action or what happened in court. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5A, paragraph 1/3, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. I cannot investigate Ms X’s complaint. This is because the Council has commenced legal proceedings in relation to the matters complained about. These proceedings are ongoing.
  2. The Council has said it would investigate Ms X’s complaints once these proceedings have ended. It is therefore reasonable for Ms X to ask for the council to review her complaint once the proceedings have ended.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint because the matter is subject to ongoing court proceedings.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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