Complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman or Education Funding Agency
The decisions of Appeal Panels are capable of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman in the case of state schools or the Education Funding Agency where an appeal involves an academy or free school.
The Ombudsman or Education Funding Agency will identify whether there has been an ‘injustice’ in your case. This is likely to be obvious where you have been unsuccessful at appeal You might be able to identify some of the following problems in the process leading to that decision:
- the manner in which you were treated by the council, both in terms of the preparation and presentation of your appeal
- a delay in providing crucial information that prejudiced your case
- information might not have been provided at all
- there may have been poor communication with you
- the council might not have investigated a relevant issue that could have helped your case
- the information provided by the council might have been misleading, particularly if it was within a pro forma
If your complaint is upheld, the Ombudsman or Agency has several remedies open to them. These can include:
- recommending that the council take action to avoid certain circumstances arising in the future
- directing a school to admit a pupil
- ordering financial compensation
Although the process is designed to be completed using online forms, the outcome of your complaint will be important to you. As a result you may wish to seek specialist advice from an education law solicitor to make sure that you set out in full all of the problems with your appeal.