The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs B’s complaint about the Council’s response to the falsification of school attendance records. The law prevents her from investigating actions which took place within a school and personnel matters.
- The complainant, who I will refer to as Mrs B, complains the Council failed to take appropriate action against members of school staff who falsified attendance records.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints about what happens in schools. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5, paragraph 5(b))
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate a complaint if it is about a personnel issue. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5a, paragraph 4)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Mrs B has said in support of her complaint and in response to my draft decision.
What I found
- Mrs B works at a school. She told the Council that senior staff had falsified the school’s attendance records and complains about the Council’s response. She states that two senior staff resigned and now work at other schools. She believes the matter has safeguarding implications which the Council has failed to address. Specifically, she believes the Council should have reported the individuals to the General Teaching Council for England.
- The law prevents the Ombudsman from investigating actions which take place within a school. So she cannot investigate matters relating to the falsification of records. Neither can she consider any disciplinary measures, of lack of them, by law. It would be impossible to investigate Mrs B’s complaint about the Council’s actions without considering these matters.
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs B’s complaint because it concerns actions which took place within a school and personnel matters.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman