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Surrey County Council (22 003 746)

Category : Education > School admissions

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 19 Jun 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the Council publishing inaccurate information about a school academy. Ms X says this caused her child to lose out on a place at the school. We cannot investigate the admissions of pupils to academies.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Ms X, says the Council failed to properly advertise school information. She says this means her child missed out on a school place.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We investigate complaints about councils and certain other bodies. We cannot investigate the actions of bodies such as school academies. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 25 and 34(1), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Ms X.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Ms X says the Council failed to publish accurate information on its school admissions website about School Y. She says if it had done so her child would have gained a place at School Y.
  2. School Y is an academy. We have no power to investigate complaints about admissions to academies.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint because we cannot investigate complaints about admissions to an academy.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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