The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We cannot investigate the Council’s response to an allegation that Mrs M’s children were bullied at school.
- The complainant, whom I shall call Mrs M, says a Council failed to deal properly or adequately with her allegation that her children suffered racial bullying at school.
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 Court decided we cannot investigate the consequences of a decision if investigation of the decision itself was excluded by Schedule 5 or s26(6) Local Government Act 1974. R (on the application of ER) v CLAE and London Borough of Hillingdon  EWCA Civ 1407 and R (M) –v- CLAE  EWHC 2847.
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information Mrs M provided with her complaint. Mrs M has commented on this draft version.
What I found
- Mrs M says her children suffered racial bullying at school. She says the school failed to follow the correct procedures in considering and replying to her allegations. Mrs M says the head teacher has not approached her allegations with the correct attitude.
- Mrs M says she complained to the Council. She is not happy with the Council’s reply.
- We cannot investigate how a school manages its pupils’ behaviour. We cannot investigate a Council’s reply to a complaint about how a school replied to a complaint about pupils’ behaviour.
- We cannot investigate this complaint. This is because we have no power to investigate the internal management of schools nor the Council’s response to a complaint about such matters.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman