Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 08 Sep 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the way the Council’s Special Educational Needs department has responded to enquiries. This because the complainant is making this complaint in his capacity as a governor at a school.
- The complainant, who I will call Mr A, complains the Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) department has failed to respond to enquiries and requests for help over a period of months. Mr A says this is having a serious impact on the school’s ability to support children, staff and parents appropriately.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
- We cannot investigate complaints from public bodies. (Local Government Act 1974, section 27(1)(a), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by Mr A and the Council. I also considered our Assessment Code.
- Mr A has said the SEN department at the Council has repeatedly failed to respond to requests from the staff at the school he sits on the Board of Governors for.
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr A’s complaint because it has been made in his capacity as a governor at the school. School governors constitute a public body and complaints by them fall outside of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
- I have decided we cannot investigate this complaint. This is because the ombudsman is not able to investigate complaints raised by public bodies.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman