Updated 03.07.2020

Local government and Social Care Ombudsman (“LGSCO”) complaints

The LGSCO, which considers complaints about local authorities’ (“LA”) ‘maladministration leading to injustice’, has announced that it:

will be re-opening to new complaints from Monday 29th June, and restarting those complaints we have previously been unable to pursue.

The LGSCO helpline (0300 061 0614) will remain open between 9am and 12 noon. The LGSCO urges anyone making a new complaint to use its online complaint form if possible and reserve the helpline for people in need of help accessing its online service. 

People who have already complained to the LGSCO should use the direct contact details of their named person.

For urgent issues, you should contact your LA or care provider. 

Ofsted and local area SEND inspections

The Government has issued a notice suspending Ofsted’s duty to conduct routine school inspections of maintained schools and academies. The same notice suspends LA’s and academy trust’s duty to prepare a statement of action within a set timescale for schools requiring special measures or significant improvement.  The notice latest suspends these duties until 31 July 2020.The government has said routine inspections are intended to restart in January 2021 

From September 2020:

  • Ofsted inspectors will visit a sample of state-funded schools to discuss how they are supporting pupils back into school. A brief letter will be published after these visits but they will not result in a graded judgement for the school.
  • Ofsted/the Independent Schools Inspectorate will undertake non-routine inspections of independent settings, as commissioned by the Department for Education, where appropriate.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission’s (“CQC”) joint routine inspections of SEND provision in LAs have also been suspended. Emergency inspections where specific concerns have been raised are still going ahead.

Ofsted has redeployed staff to support LAs, social care providers, various government departments and the NHS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, Ofsted is focusing its regulatory activity and urgent monitoring visits on early years, childcare and children’s social care providers inspected under the social care common inspection framework (SCCIF). More information on how Ofsted is currently working is available on its website.  Parents can still submit views in relation to their child’s setting via Ofsted’s online form and we have information on complaining to Ofsted here.