Derbyshire County Council (17 007 667)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 11 Sep 2017

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr and Mrs J’s complaint that the Council has put forward a school which cannot meet their son’s SEN, because this is a matter which they have already taken to a tribunal.

The complaint

  1. The complainants, whom I shall call Mr and Mrs J, complain that the Council put forward a school which is unsuitable for their son’s special educational needs (SEN).

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate. We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has appealed to a tribunal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have taken account of the information Mr and Mrs J sent with their complaint. I have given their representative the opportunity to comment on my draft decision.

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What I found

  1. Mr and Mrs J’s son, B, has SEN. The Council prepared an education, health and care plan (EHCP) for him.
  2. Mr and Mrs J appealed to the first tier tribunal about the EHCP, because they disagreed with the Council about which school B should attend. So we cannot investigate their complaint, because this is a matter on which the tribunal has already adjudicated.

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Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate Mr and Mrs J’s complaint because they appealed to a tribunal for a decision about it.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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