Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 02 Jul 2019
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about administrative errors in his school admissions application process. The School has now offered a place and it is unlikely our investigation could achieve more.
- The complainant, whom I shall call Mr X, says there were faults in the school admissions process, carried out by the Council on behalf of the School, which he said led to the School not providing his child, B, with a place.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- 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:
- the injustice is not significant enough to justify the cost of our involvement, or
- it is unlikely we could add to any previous investigation by the Council. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information Mr X provided with his complaint and information the School provided. I considered Mr X’s comments on a draft version of this decision.
What I found
- Mr X says he applied on time for a place for his child to start in September 2019 at the School. He says this was his first choice. He says he did not receive any offer letter on national offer day. Mr X says he received an offer of a school on 7 March.
- Mr X appealed the School’s decision not to offer him a place to its school admissions appeals’ panel. It heard his appeal in mid May. The appeal panel refused his request for a place.
- The School has now confirmed it has offered a place to B as he had become first on the waiting list and a place became available.
- Mr X says the Council, who carried out the school’s admissions process on the Schools behalf, made numerous errors which fuelled his complaint.
- As the situation has now been resolved by the School granting B a place, we cannot justify an investigation.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because it is unlikely we could significantly add to the outcome achieved.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman