The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr J’s complaint because the substantive issue is about what happened in a school.
- Mr J complains that the Council has refused to carry out a safeguarding investigation into two incidents which occurred in a school.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate complaints about what happens in schools. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5, paragraph 5(b), as amended)
- The courts have established that we cannot investigate a complaint about how a council dealt with a matter outside our jurisdiction.
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered the information Mr J provided with his complaint, and given him the opportunity to comment on my draft decision.
What I found
- In 2017 Mr J reported to the Council two incidents, which occurred in a school. In each case he asked the Council to start a safeguarding investigation, and the Council refused.
- We cannot investigate what happens in schools. So we also cannot investigate a complaint about the Council’s investigation (or lack of it) into what happened at a school.
- We cannot investigate this complaint, because the substantive issue is about what happened in a school.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman