Education

02.08.17

Most council complaints in 2016-17 relate to education and children’s services

Councils received the most complaints about education and children’s services last year, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has today revealed.

In its release of data about local government complaints for 2016-17, adult social care received the next highest amount of complaints, followed by planning.

The highest uphold rate for children’s and education services complaints was in the north east, with 67% upheld, this compares with an uphold rate of 63% nationally. Yorkshire had the lowest percentage of children’s services complaints upheld, at 58%

In total, local authorities dealt with 16,000 complaints last year, of which more than half (54%) were upheld by the Ombudsman, up from 51% last year.

Overall, social care complaints were upheld the most often, in 64% of cases, whereas complaints with Planning and Development were least likely to be pushed through as only 35% were upheld.

It was also found that over a quarter (26%) of complaints to all authorities were submitted to London councils last year. In the capital, around 23% of complaints were about housing, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the country and almost double the average of 12%.  

And the West Midlands had the highest number of social care complaints upheld, standing at 73%, whilst the south east had the lowest at 52%.

The Ombudsman added that increasing complaints were not necessarily a bad thing, as it signalled that councils were open and welcoming to feedback, something he was keen to encourage.

“Our annual data release is a great opportunity for the public, councillors and council officers to gauge how their local authority responds to, and learns from, the complaints we receive about them,” said Local Government and Social Care ombudsman, Michael King.

“The best councils use our data to scrutinise the services they provide. I urge all councils to do that to make their services better in future,” King added.

“I want to encourage an open and mature attitude to complaints – one where they are valued within organisations as ‘free feedback’ and learning opportunities. Indeed, how an organisation deals with complaints says a lot about its culture.

“The data we have issued, and wealth of information we publish on our website, are a valuable source of information about complaints handling and council performance,” the ombudsman concluded. “I would urge people to take a look to see how they can use it to improve or scrutinise their authority’s performance.”

Top Image: Alex Skopje

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Counties urge government to step in amid rocketing house prices

16/02/2018Counties urge government to step in amid rocketing house prices

House prices in county areas have risen by three times the rate of those in London over the last year, prompting the County Councils Network (CCN... more >
LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

16/02/2018LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has today hit out at the Council of the Isles of Scilly for its belated response to a report highlighting in... more >
Councils want power to push developers on 420,000 unbuilt homes

16/02/2018Councils want power to push developers on 420,000 unbuilt homes

Councils have warned that more than 420,000 homes in England are still waiting to be built despite planning permission already being granted. ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

The power of apprenticeships

14/02/2018The power of apprenticeships

David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, describes how the apprenticeship levy can help public sector organisations unlock leade... more >
Building connected communities

22/12/2017Building connected communities

Andrew Walker, policy researcher at the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), argues councils must be supported to develop good connectivity ... more >
The police say they are under pressure. Are they right?

22/12/2017The police say they are under pressure. Are they right?

Rick Muir, director of the Police Foundation, considers whether budget constraints and growing demand are actually having a major impact on the w... more >
The future of communal heating in Cheshire

22/12/2017The future of communal heating in Cheshire

PSE’s Josh Mines speaks to Dan Griffiths, projects and programmes manager at Cheshire East Council’s Skills & Growth Company, abo... more >

interviews

Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >
Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

10/12/2017Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

With homelessness on the rise across the country, politicians in central and local government are desperately looking for new solutions. Andy Bur... more >
This is Manchester, we do things differently here

10/12/2017This is Manchester, we do things differently here

Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City Council, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the region’s pioneering plans f... more >

public sector focus

View all News