This week (May 7) the Department for Education updated its July 2013 advice, “Admission of summer-born children in schools“, but if parents who are struggling to gain access to a full primary education for their summer born children had expected changes that might help “empower” them in any way, or might help reduce the confusion and conflict they’ve experienced in communication with schools and local authorities throughout the country, they will be disappointed.
For apart from clarifying the definition of compulsory school age, it appears that the primary focus is on changing who we should complain to – when local complaints processes have been exhausted.
Gove is outsourcing (and reducing) complaints to him…
Before (as of July 2013), it used to be that if parents were unhappy with how a school had handled their complaint, the advice said “they may complain to the Secretary of State” and if unhappy with how a local authority had handled their complaint “they may refer their complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.”
But now, only parents who are unhappy with how an academy has handled their complaint can complain to the Education Funding Agency – who will “consider the complaint on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education“.
All other complaints – about the handling of complaints by both local authorities and all maintained schools – should now be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.