Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Essex County Council (22 000 235)

Category : Education > Special educational needs

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 03 May 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the actions of the Council as it is not the relevant authority for dealing with Mr and Mrs X’s child’s special educational needs. We cannot investigate the actions of a school or the Council’s response to a complaint about the school.

The complaint

  1. Mr and Mrs X said a school failed to act properly to support their request for an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan for their child. They said the Council failed to deal with their complaint about this.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We cannot investigate a complaint where the body complained about is not responsible for the issue being raised. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(1), as amended)
  2. We cannot investigate complaints about what happens in schools. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5, paragraph 5(b), as amended)
  3. The Courts have said that we cannot investigate a complaint about any action by a council, concerning a matter which is itself out of our jurisdiction. (R (on the application of M) v Commissioner for Local Administration [2006] EHWCC 2847 (Admin))

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

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

Back to top

My assessment

  1. Mr and Mrs X’s child attends a school in the Council’s area. But the family does not live in the Council’s area. That means the relevant authority for their child’s special educational needs (SEN) is not Essex County Council.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate Mr and Mrs X’s complaint because:
  • The Council is not responsible for the issue being raised;
  • The actions of a school are outside our jurisdiction; and
  • The Council’s complaint handling is thus also outside our jurisdiction.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page