Local Government Ombudsman Report on School Admission Appeals
In September 2014 the Local Government Ombudsman published a Focus Report – School Admissions Appeals – Are Parents Being Heard? The aim was that local government could learn lessons from complaints.
Learning lessons from school admissions complaints
The full report is here:
On the basis of our experiences with the ongoing 2016 re-appeals it might appear that Nottinghamshire County Council are not learning lessons from the type of issues that are set out in this report.
One issue identified is that of inaccurate information and poorly clerked appeals. The report sets out failures of the appeal that can lead to successful complaint. These can include:
- failure to allow an adjournment where new information is presented by the local authority late
- the clerk hasn’t kept an accurate record of the panelists decision making
- the admission authority has failed to provide accurate information to parents
- the panel taking into account irrelevant information
In the example given in the report the Local Authority argued the appeal on the incorrect basis because it wasn’t an Infant Class Size appeal.
Nottinghamshire 2016 school admission appeals
Documentation produced by Nottinghamshire County Council for the 2016 re-appeals seems to adopt a ‘broad’ approach. In several particulars it is factually or legally incorrect. The response is likely to lead the panel into the trap of taking into account irrelevant information unless clerked appropriately.
An unsuccessful parent will wish to consider whether a remedy is available from the Ombudsman. These include directing a further school admissions appeal take place to correct unfairness. In one of the scenarios a school was simply directed to offer a place.
Contact us about the Local Government Ombudsman
If you are disappointed with the outcome of your school admission appeal you may have been dealt with unfairly. Contact our education law specialist Clare Roberts on 0115 9599550 to discuss your case.
Alternatively you can contact us using the form below: