Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Access to the ombudsman

Up to now, the ombudsman has been specifically prohibited from investigating complaints about the conduct of schools, for example in regard to complaints about the treatment of individual pupils. The ombudsman can investigate in matters such as admissions, however, in his or her function as a public authority.

An attempt to circumvent this by asking for an investigation into the failure of a council to investigate against a school was rejected in the High Court.

However, in a consultation paper late last term on bullying, the Children's Commissioner for England put forward a proposal give the ombudsman power to investigate schools' conduct.

ASCL held a meeting with top DfES civil servants in January to vigorously put forward the association's arguments as to why this is not a practical or equitable solution. We will alert members to the outcome via the weekly email newsletter.

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