The Local Government Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against Lancashire County Council, which was made by a parent member of the Summer Born Campaign.
In summary, the LGO concluded: “There was fault in the way the Council considered Mrs X’s request for delayed entry to reception for her daughter. It should arrange for her request to be reconsidered. There was also fault in the way the Council dealt with Mrs X’s complaint.”
The Agreed Action
“To remedy the faults identified above I recommended the Council take the following action:
– Apologise to Mrs X.
– Arrange for a senior manager to review her application for delayed entry and provide her with a full response. It should consider the views of the head teacher from any school Mrs X wishes to request delayed entry. Mrs X may wish to consider providing additional information in support of her request. The Council should then explain in full its decision to Mrs X and provide reasons for its decision. This should include an explanation as to how its decision is in Child N’s best interests.
– Ensure it properly applies its procedure for considering requests for delayed entry to all future requests.
– Review the information on its website about the corporate complaints procedure within two months of my final decision.
“The Council will also need to address the fact its admission arrangements for 2016/17 and 2017/18 do not contain a process for parents requesting delayed entry to school.
“If the Council does not agree to Mrs X’s request she could choose to not send Child N to reception in 2016/17. She would then need to make an application for a 2017/18 place. The starting point for this application would be that Child N would enter year 1. It would seem sensible that if Mrs X does submit such an application, that the Council should satisfy itself that it would be in Child N’s best interests to enter year 1.
“The Council has agreed to my recommendations.”
“There was fault in the way the Council considered Mrs X’s request for delayed entry and her complaint to the Chief Executive. It will take the steps recommended above to address the injustice caused. I have also found fault in the Council’s admission arrangements but this did not cause Mrs X any injustice. I do not uphold the rest of Mrs X’s complaint for the reasons set out above and have completed my investigation.”
- You can read the LGO’s decision in full here.