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LGO phone call

(38 Posts)
insanityscatching Mon 05-Sep-11 12:57:39

Had a call from LGO investigator today informing me they won't investigate until after Tribunal when it has been ascertained whether or not the LEA have caused harm through their inaction.

She advised that I contact a solicitor to take them to Tribunal.
I explained that to get to Tribunal I need a final statement which the LEA won't issue because they state the proposed amended statement means they have fulfilled their duty in spite of solicitor asking for it three times already.

She said she could contact the LEA about that if I liked so who knows maybe the LEA will issue a final statement now if they take any more notice of the LGO than they do solicitor.

Followed up her call with this email grin
Further to our phone call this morning where I was informed that after
Tribunal when it could be ascertained that the LEA's actions had caused
harm you would be prepared to look at my case I'd like to draw your
attention to the following

In my case *** LEA's maladministration is the failure to issue
an amended phase transfer statement by the February deadline and indeed
by the start of the new school year and therefore makes it firmly
within your remit to investigate now.

My complaint isn't asking the LGO to investigate the content of the
statement as that will be dealt with at Tribunal once the LEA see fit
to issue a Final statement to submit to appeal.

Now we have clarified the reason for my complaint I look forward to
hearing that you will indeed be investigating ** LEA's actions
in failing to meet the February deadline immediately.
Kind regards,

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 13:58:51


Morons galore!

Why did they tell you to take a solicitor to tribunal too? It is supposed to be parent friendly informal bollox which is used to deny legal aid in the child's name.........

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 14:03:20

Incidently, who regulates the LGO?

insanityscatching Mon 05-Sep-11 14:07:51

Exactly what about all the parents who can't afford legal action.
I don't think for a minute she thought that they could only investigate after Tribunal I think she was stalling and delaying, hopefully once she realises I won't be fobbed off she'll get her arse in gear and do what she should be doing.

insanityscatching Mon 05-Sep-11 14:08:29

God knows I was just thinking the same thing.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 14:11:06

And that, presumably is why she phoned you to tell you rather than write.

I wonder what would have been put on their records?

'Parents agreed verbally to wait outcome of tribunal so case on hold' ?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 14:11:43

But how surprised am I? Go on guess, on a scale of 1-10!

insanityscatching Mon 05-Sep-11 14:13:43

Exactly that so have paraphrased the call for the record so that we have it on record grin
Interestingly I have had acknowledgement but no comment on email.

insanityscatching Mon 05-Sep-11 14:16:23

Star about FOI request had partial answer but what I really wanted to know about post 16 phase transfer statements missing deadline they have answered they have no data on that so can't answer. What do you suggest?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 14:19:10

Oh FFS again!
Tell them they have a duty to break down the request so that you get as close to an answer as is possible.

Ask them first a. How many phase transfer statements they had. And then the dates in date order of when they were done.

If they don't have that information, how in gods name are they going to know when their review dates are.

TheTimeTravellersWife Mon 05-Sep-11 14:43:54

Some awful tales of the LGO on this blog:

TBH, reading this has put me off complaining to the LGO, it seems rather "toothless" at best...

It has sister sites, public watcher, about Councils, but most of us know what they are like (rolls eyes emoticon)

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 15:28:41


I thought I'd learned it all...............

How could a council ever be worried about a LGO complaint then?

insanityscatching Mon 05-Sep-11 15:38:25

Afer reading that blog I think I am doomed sad especially as I've got York LGO assigned to me.

appropriatelytrained Mon 05-Sep-11 15:46:00

This is nonsense. A Tribunal is not there to decide on issues of 'harm'.

The LGO have a duty to make their own investigation relating to injustice if they suspect there has been maladministration.

Your complaint is: the LA has failed to comply with the law and this constitutes maladministration if injustice can be proved.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 15:49:30

I looked at many of those decisions and am quite distraught to read so many instances where the LGO has suggested:

'The complainants actions compounded much of his suffering'.

Well yes. That will always be true won't it? But that is the only fecking way we even GET to a LGO complaint.

tryingtokeepintune Mon 05-Sep-11 15:54:07

Ahhhh! - just saw my lea on lgowatcher - what is the point?

insanity - at least you got an acknowledgement - my e-mails elicit nothing.

After all the complaints about schools getting away with everything i.e. governors being influenced by staff etc. I thought maybe I could could start a petition that the LGO's power should be extended to investigate schools too. After all, the lgo often seem to be saying it is not the LEA's fault but the school...Don't think I'd bother after this.

appropriatelytrained Mon 05-Sep-11 15:55:44

'The complainants actions compounded much of his suffering'.

This is what I was talking about Star when I said that not only are they biased and lazy in their investigating, but they turn on you as the complainant too!

It's one thing having an Ombudsman refuse to rule against an LA, it's another to have them blame the complainant for his/her suffering.

They are poorly trained, not legally qualified, often ex-LA staff who seem to approach the whole thing with a twofold attitude of:

(i) how can we get out of this and refuse to investigate
(ii) if we can't get out of it, how can we justify the breach of law or blame the complainant for their own injustice

They are worse than useless.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Sep-11 15:56:18

Trying Doesn't the bit at the bottom of the letters say that their powers are extended to cover schools from July 12?

I suppose they have done such a good job of defending LA's against troublesome parents they thought they'd do the same for HeadTeachers.....

tryingtokeepintune Tue 06-Sep-11 09:12:29

Just read it Star - Lgo given powers to deal with schools in 14 council areas in 2009 but mine was not one of those 14. Also it says the Education Bill before Parliament proposes to rescind their jurisdiction from July 2012.

From what I gather from comments made on this board, that will not a loss. Would be just what you said about getting them to defend HT and let them off. However, where will parents turn to with their complaints?

Do you think the strategy is get enough people to say how deluded and irrational these SEN parents are and if it repeated often enough by a large number of people, we would gradually believe they are right? (joke)

appropriatelytrained Tue 06-Sep-11 16:46:09

The strategy is - deal with complaints by cover up and a note telling you to sod off and take it to an ombudsman and then brand you 'vexatious' if you pursue it as they haven't even got basic facts right, saying you are persistent and your case has been closed.

There is nowhere to turn to with complaints:

- LGO doesn't want to know without an almighty battle
- Governors won't entertain complaints against a school without obvious and substantial evidence and even then will tend to believe staff
-NHS services aren't obliged to put statementing provision in place - that is the job of the LA
-LA ignore you and then call you vexatious because you are writing to them too much
-Ofsted isn't interested in complaints
-Tribunals don't want bickering about what has or hasn't happened

So, alone we are truly f***ed - but we must remember, we are not alone and we need to share experiences like this to help each other.

WetAugust Tue 06-Sep-11 18:42:45

Post 16 arrangements i.e. the lack of a Transition Plan stating the arrangements that would apply post 16 is one of the specific complaints I raised with the LGO.

Transition plans (according to the SEN COP) should be drawn up following a multi-disciplinary meeting calldd by the Head teacher during Year 9 - this bit is important.

DS didn't get his Statement until the last month in Year 10 - so obviously had not Transition Plan drawn up in Year 9.

LEA refused him a transition planning multi-disciplinary meeting once his staement had been awarded as they claimed this is only done in Year 9 - and he was now in Year 10.

It was impossible to get the LA to agree that, as he had been denied the opportunity for transition planning in Year 9 due to late acknowledgement of his SNs then it was even more urgent that he had a transition planning meeting held in Year 10.

Their response - we only do transtion plans in Year 9. FFS!

The whole point of a transition plan is to plan and if no planning has taken place tghen the need for that planning is even more urgent.

Or so any right thinking individual would have thought.

Lucliky LGO agreed but by the time the compalint had been investigated there was no point in planning for something that was already happening.

You couldn't make it up.


insanityscatching Tue 06-Sep-11 21:26:57

It gets better <rolls eyes> here's today's update

Well yesterday LGO said that she would instruct LEA to issue Final Statement using whatever authority she had and said she would update me today.

Anyway no Final Statement and no LGO update either so I have no idea what's happening that end.

Had an email from Local Inclusion Officer asking to meet up to discuss educational provision for ds so it appears the proposed amended statement wasn't intentioned as ds's post 16 provision anyway as he wants to discuss alternatives.

Sent that to solicitor who has advised LIO to put in writing what LEA's intentions are and send full details of what he wants to discuss and once she's seen it then she'll decide whether or not it's appropriate to have a meeting.

The papers are going in tomorrow for a Judicial Review which she hopes will spur the LEA into action but we have a good case to put forward now as ds has a statement naming a provision that doesn't have the statutory notice to take him.

We have a proposed amended statement naming a provision that says it is unsuitable and an LIO who wants to discuss alternatives which suggests that the proposed amended statement was never going to be finalised and was yet another delaying tactic.

I am hoping that now we can at least start moving forward.

Can anyone tell me why the LEA's solicitors keep asking my solicitor whether or not she has referred their letters (which contain rubbish such as appeal the proposed amended statement we have fulfilled our statutory duty) to the Legal Services Commission? What does that mean?

Agnesdipesto Tue 06-Sep-11 21:44:01

Legal Services Commission deal with legal aid. Are you on legal aid? You wouldn't normally send party-party correspondence to legal aid during the case. Occasionally if the opponent thinks you are wasting public money they will write to LSC themselves and say so to try and get your legal aid withdrawn. But no, usually only your own Solicitor has to update the LSC from time to time on costs / progress.

insanityscatching Tue 06-Sep-11 21:50:41

Solicitor is going to push for Judicial review in ds's name so on Legal Aid is that what they mean? Because she replies that she hasn't as she is trying to resolve the situation without JR.
I suppose the LEA's solicitors don't think ds would get Legal Aid in his own name then but mine said he would confused. I bloody hope he does it's going to cripple us as it is.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 22:20:00

SO it was all about time-wasting.

I'm way off this, but once your ds is 16 doesn't he get legal aid anyway as it is based on his salary? (although I guess not for tribunal)

How are you finding your solicitor?

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