Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, children & education summaries 13 Feb 2020

All cases can be found at this link 

North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council (19 009 213)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the complainant’s wish to have contact with his grandchild. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council. In addition, the Ombudsman cannot achieve the outcome the complainant wants. The complainant would need to take the matter to court.

London Borough of Sutton (19 009 962)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint the Council failed to provide support to a child and that this led to the child stabbing him. We cannot investigate the Council’s actions in relation to this child without the consent of the child or person with parental responsibility.

Slough Borough Council (19 010 056)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the content of a Section 7 report and the conduct of the social workers who produced it. This is because it is reasonable for Mr X to raise his concerns in court.

Leeds City Council (19 005 266)
Summary: Mrs C complained that a school admissions appeal panel did not take proper account of her circumstances. The Council has offered a fresh appeal. The Ombudsman has therefore discontinued investigation of this complaint, as it is unlikely that further investigation would result in a different outcome.

Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council (19 007 228)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Miss A’s complaint that a social worker was at fault in his involvement with her family. This is because the complaint relates to matters which have been, or could have been, raised in a court of law.

Birmingham City Council (19 010 467)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s complaint that a social worker added false information about him to the Council’s records. This is because he has brought his concerns about the information to the attention of the Information Commissioner, who is better placed than the Ombudsman to consider them.

West Berkshire Council (19 009 984)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s complaint that the decision of the Local Authority Designated Officer was material to his son’s school’s decision to decline to consider his complaint against staff. This is because we would be unable to find that the injustice Mr A claims results from the actions of the Council.

Medway Council (19 010 113)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s complaint that the Council has failed to make a formal apology for its failings during its involvement with his family. This is because there is insufficient injustice to warrant the Ombudsman’s involvement.

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (19 001 094)
Summary: The Council was not at fault for reducing Miss B’s special guardianship allowance, because its decision was in line with the Special Guardianship Regulations. However, it failed to properly consider the use of its discretionary powers. It has agreed to assess Miss B’s finances and decide whether her circumstances justify discretionary payments on top of her allowance.

Nottinghamshire County Council (19 003 954)
Summary: Mr E complains the Council failed to investigate an allegation against him in an appropriate and timely way. There is evidence of Council fault in it not allowing Mr E to challenge information about him presented to the Council in 2013. The Council has agreed to consider this now and to make a payment to reflect the distress its fault caused to Mr E.

Kent County Council (19 005 238)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s late complaints about the actions taken by the Council in 2015 regarding his daughter, B. This is because Mr A could have come to the Ombudsman sooner if he was concerned about the Council’s actions and there is no good reason for the Ombudsman to disapply the law to investigate this late complaint now. The Ombudsman cannot investigate matters which have been considered by a court.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (19 001 792)
Summary: Miss X complains about the decision to remove her daughter for a week and place her with her maternal grandmother. She says this disrupted her daughter’s normal routine and caused them both considerable distress. The Council acted following another report of Miss X’s daughter witnessing domestic abuse. The Council acted appropriately to safeguard the child and there is no fault in its actions.

Herefordshire Council (18 015 534)
Summary: Mr X complains the Council did not provide him with adequate information, prior to placing a child with him on an emergency foster placement. He says subsequent events have led to him losing his job and the matter has caused him considerable distress. The Council provided Mr X with enough information before placing the child but there was a one-month delay in providing him with the placement specific risk assessment. This is fault but the delay did not impact on the course of events. The Council has agreed to remind its staff of the need to provide foster carers with a comprehensive risk assessment at the start of an emergency placement and to document it has provided carers with this information.

West Sussex County Council (18 016 897)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about information processing. The Information Commissioner’s Office is better placed to do so. And it is unlikely we would find fault or significant injustice to Miss X by the Council’s decision to restrict her contact with it.

Kent County Council (19 005 860)
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint about the content of a report prepared for a Court. And we will not investigate the remainder of her complaint about children services actions as the Court is deciding the children’s care arrangements.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (19 009 064)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the Council’s involvement with her family from 2015. The complaint is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction because a court decided the case and Ms X is complaining late.

Norfolk County Council (19 001 414)
Summary: Mr X complained on behalf of P who is autistic and has severe learning difficulties. Mr X complained that P was excluded from school in May 2018 and since that date, the Council has failed to provide P with the special educational needs provision set out in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). The Council was at fault. It failed to provide educational provision for P or meet their special educational needs from May 2018 to present. It further failed to issue an up to date EHC Plan. The Council should pay P £4,800 to acknowledge the loss of that provision and issue an up to date EHC Plan without further delay.

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