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Hampshire County Council (21 005 501)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

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 complaint

  1. 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.

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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.
  2. We cannot investigate complaints from public bodies. (Local Government Act 1974, section 27(1)(a), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mr A and the Council. I also considered our Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Final decision

  1. I have decided we cannot investigate this complaint. This is because the ombudsman is not able to investigate complaints raised by public bodies.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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