Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Hampshire County Council (17 019 913)

Category : Education > School admissions

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 25 Apr 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint that the Council did not inform the complainant of the deadline for school admission applications. This is because if she is refused a place at one of her preferred schools she can appeal the decision to an Independent Appeal Panel which can consider whether the Council applied its admissions arrangements fairly.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I refer to here as Ms C, says that:
    • The Council did not notify her of the closing date for school admission applications;
    • The Council has refused to accept her late application as being on time; and
    • The Council’s complaints process is protracted and unhelpful.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe there is another body better placed to consider this complaint. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information provided by Ms C and I have sent her a draft decision for her comments.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Ms C has a daughter who is due to start school in September of this year. She says that she was unaware of the deadline for school admission applications for reception class places, and as a result, her application has been made late.
  2. Ms C says that the Council should have notified her of the date, and she complained to it. The Council has investigated her complaint, but has not upheld it. It has provided her with evidence to show that it has complied with its own and national policies on making information available, and explained that it does not have a data base of children approaching school age. Additionally it says that in law, it is the parent’s responsibility to pro-actively find out about school admission application deadlines.
  3. Ms C is dissatisfied with the response, and has complained to the Ombudsman. We will not investigate the complaint however. This is because the extent of any injustice arising from the alleged faults is not yet known.
  4. If, as a result of her application being considered late, Ms C is not allocated one of her preferred schools for her daughter, she can appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel (IAP). The IAP will be able to consider her case that the admission arrangements were not fairly administered in her case.
  5. If the IAP does not uphold the appeal, Ms C will have the right to come back to the LGSCO, if she thinks the appeal was not properly heard.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. Subject to any comments Ms C might make, my view is that the Ombudsman should not investigate this complaint. This is because she will have the right to appeal any injustice arising from the alleged fault, to an IAP.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page