The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (“LGSCO”), which considers complaints about local authorities’ ‘maladministration leading to injustice’, has temporarily suspended its central phone line and online complaint submission form from 18 March 2020. New complaints will not be accepted during this suspension, the length of which is currently unknown. The LGSCO warns that its ability to progress existing cases may be limited. However, if you have already registered a complaint, the Ombudsman may continue to work on it and make email and telephone extensions of individual staff available. The LGSCO’s full press release is available here and updates will be posted on its website.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which have been undertaking joint inspections of SEND provision in local authorities since 2016, have announced suspension of inspections until further notice. On 17 March 2020 visit information was removed from the Local area SEND inspections: information for families guidance reflecting the temporary suspension of all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers. Parents can still submit views via Ofsted’s online form and we have information on complaining to Ofsted here.