Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 10 Apr 2022
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the complainant’s child seeing a counsellor without his permission. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. The complaint is about what happened in a school, and we have no powers to consider such complaints.
- The complainant, whom I shall refer to as Mr X, complained his child had been seen by a counsellor while at school without his permission. Mr X is unhappy with how the Council has dealt with his complaint.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
- We cannot investigate complaints about what happens in schools. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5, paragraph 5(b), as amended)
- The Courts have said that we cannot investigate a complaint about any action by a council, concerning a matter which is itself out of our jurisdiction. (R (on the application of M) v Commissioner for Local Administration  EHWCC 2847 (Admin))
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint. This is because it is about what happened in a school. We have no powers to investigate such a complaint or any related matter. This includes the way the Council has dealt with Mr X’s complaint.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman