Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stockport LEA and local government ombudsman failed my children.

My ex wife and I applied for a reception place for our son at the same school our daughter attended in Hazel Grove, Stockport. Due to the fact the we were divorced the LEA insisted we could only use My wife’s address because she was in receipt of the child benefit book. I live approx approx 1.5 miles away from the school, my ex wife lives approx 5 miles from the school. Trusting these supposed educated staff we went along with this only to find that they blocked the 30 class size rule and my son was NOT granted a place at the same school his sister was within year 2 due to distance criteria. They expect us as parents to be in two schools, a mile apart at 9.00am? Prior to entering the appeal we so rightly called, I found evidence of maladministration due to the fact that they were unaware of a valid point within their policies that stated: -

2 Changes of Custody Arrangements
Parents will be required to complete a Declaration of Residency form and provide the following documentary evidence, a or b plus c or d where applicable;
a) Court Order; b) Solicitor’s letter indicating the arrangements are agreed between the parties; c) Letters from all interested parties indicating agreement with the arrangements; d) Copy of Child Benefit Book indicating the relevant address.
In some circumstances the Admissions Team may require additional documentary evidence before offering a school place.
Where parents are separated only 1 address will be accepted as the Principal Parental Home "based strictly on 2 above".
In the case of informal arrangements, receipt of child related benefits will be taken into account in determining Principal Parental Home.

Now then, this clearly states that only in informal situations have the team the right to apply the child benefit book scenario. Further more the team should question all application forms where there is more than one address included. NO, they don’t even validate the ones that have one address irrespective of the fact that is clearly states (we will seek proof of address). Either way they fail the system. This is not fit for purpose. My ex wife and I have a formal divorced situation and demonstrated the above to an incompetent LGO investigator who completely ignored this. Never trust the word of a council employee or LGO investigator (they are both blind and deaf by choice). They indirectly lie due to being unaware of their polices. Their incompetence falls back on you as the eventual educated one!!

Process should be: -
Apply for school place utilising school admission application form, providing detailed information allowing the team to make a fully informed decision. The team should all be fully appraised of their policies and monitored accordingly.
Process is: -
Provide limited information as per their limited guidance and intelligence and hope for the best! They simply apply a process of elimination with the limited information they were able to extract.

In relation to the LGO failure, this is my last email to the named John Osmont, incompetent investigator in York!

Dear John Osmont, I am now personalising this response. A courtesy which has been remarkably absent toward my son within previous correspondence between the LEA and LGO communication framework.

Complaint in relation to Stockport Council LEA and Local Government Ombudsman.

In my opinion, the system appears corrupt in that it exists only to protect the current process rather than review each case with reasonable independence. This defensive approach simply incurs financial cost, endless effort and high levels of anxiety rather than to suitably review each case on its merits. The overall timeframe of appeal and incessant written and verbal dialogue is completely unacceptable and should be changed in order to deliver a short appropriate non defensive review. The objective should always be in the best interests of the child, in this instance my son instead of consistently defending your processes. This has become extremely depersonalised and the exhaustive effort between all parties (and there have been many) has meant that the original objective has been lost within the politics. I now find the language refers to my son as simply another statistic and casualty of this defensive institution.

What became readily apparent early in the process was that there has been a lot of time and effort wasted by staff defending staff that were clearly unaware of the system they are accountable to. Infact the system your colleagues initially defended doesn't even exist as they were unaware of the correct processes, so therefore misrepresented throughout. I find it embarrassing that you continue to defend others who have not only failed primarily my son, but you also and the integrity of your department and office. I feel this summarises my views on this case.

I have spent days and nights researching this subject, obtaining information and somehow needing to justify the truth. The system has simply compounded itself by referring itself to itself to further convince itself that its incestuous institutional unnatural bullying tactics are infact "correct"?

The LGO think by discontinuing my case, this will cease. This is only the beginning!!!! Others who have suffered at the hands of this dreadful system of child abuse please comment. This has to stop immediately!!!!!!!!!

Jason Hughes

17th August 2006. Email sent to Anne Seex, LGO, York after receiving a formally threatening letter signed in her name supporting one of her incompetent investigators, John Osmont.-

Dear Anne Seex,

Prior to leaving for work this morning I heard a letter come through my letterbox. I thought "I wonder what that could be"? I was delighted to find it was a letter from your good self further supporting the corrupt system which you so happily condone. I am flattered at your input knowing you only get involved in very sensitive cases. We are nearly there.

Having counted the total number of pages I could only be bothered to look at the final paragraph to find that you not only waffled on to support Johns decision but also condone the maladministration my 4 year old son has suffered at the hands of you and your misinformed / blinkered colleagues!

I am aware of you and your previous capacities. I copy: -

Mrs Anne Seex, the York Office Local Government Ombudsman, took over as LGO from Mrs Patricia Thomas on the latter's retirement in September 2005. In order to take up this job, Mrs Seex had to retire as CEO of Norwich City Council. On 4 April 2006, the Norwich Evening News published an article claiming that the Audit Commission 'had issued a damning verdict on Norwich City Council's handling of taxpayers' money'. Perhaps Mrs Seex can offer some advice in her new role as to how the council can better serve its taxpayers.

Interesting article Anne I must say? Interesting how you are supposed to act independently whilst being saturated from your previous civil servant capacities! Interesting leader? I am not convinced I hold any confidence in you based on this fact and your subsequent response to my circumstance?

Things are changing Anne. You are the creators of your own destiny and as such are creating a very powerful beast of intelligence which has joined forces to create the LGO watchdog! The number of campaigners has rocketed this year alone and will continue whilst you carry on bullying and abusing the public. The information provided by LGOWatch has forced the LGO into a defensive position, and we are delighted that the testimony of abused citizens who are willing to publicise their experiences and research findings, has the power to get this multi-million pound outfit rattled. This is a tribute to the power of rock-solid evidence, and to the possibility of achieving success in the fight for justice. My allies are the thousands of people who have had their human rights abused by the LGO institution over the years, as well as a growing body of genuinely concerned MPs, some of whom are taking a tremendously proactive role in trying to bring about change.

An anal system will always protect its arsehole/s!

You have disgraced yourself in even suggesting any involvement of my employer. Bad move Anne, dangerous ground. I suggest you reflect on this statement. Shame on you and your capacity, bullying the public like that!

As mentioned previously my employer "The NHS" is a law abiding honest institution, we do not cover up and do not distract, digress and dilute. We simply accept our faults through litigation / governance and build upon that in order to create a better modern NHS to deliver a patient / carer focussed service whilst maintaining the achievement of key access targets and national performance measures set out within the NHS plan. The NHS will laugh in your face with this institutional bullying tactic and would be disgraced by any CEO who dares to consider such tactics! Shame on you trying to play that card.

Further to your parting paragraph I will continue to make John and yourself aware of progress until justice is had. This is a country of free speech so do not try to silence me! My audience are watching! I will not tolerate any harassment from you or your staff and will take any steps necessary to protect myself, my children and family and my watchdog colleagues / campaigners. As I climb higher up the tier of authority, the performance of the members becomes ever more removed as the original objective gets further and further diluted within the politics.

I thank you in anticipation of the correct resolution of a simple objective which is to give my son his place back at his school your colleagues have kindly stolen from him and misinformed you accordingly.

I expected greater things from you Anne. You have done yourself and the LGO no credit whatsoever. Correspondence will continue until such time as justice is achieved.

Thanks Anne,

Jason Hughes.

6th September 2006. Email sent to the 3 offenders within the corruption: -

Dear Anne Seex, John Osmont and Jan Morris.

I promised to keep you updated and thought that on Joseph's first BIG day at school you should all know that not only was it not possible for his father to be there to witness and share this special occasion with his son, but also the distress Joseph suffered subsequently due to his mother being particularly anxious as a result of your decision. Joseph has also been denied his sibling support whilst being placed within this environment. We thank you for that.

Starting school is a major life changing event for any child to which you have all played a significant part in adversely affecting Joseph's entry to school.

Today two parents had to split to get two children to two different schools at the same time in order to satisfy and put into practice your incorrect decision. We thank you for that, NOT!

Evidence clearly suggests how stressful the "school run" is, and I will ensure that both Nichole and I monitor this daily. A record will be kept as to the effect this has on both children and will be included on my website which has attracted many parents throughout the summer months of whom I have already advised.

Labour North West have asked that I input to the school ADMISSIONS CODE of CONDUCT review (September 2006) to which I can assure you will be comprehensively and truly represented from a parent and family who have suffered at the hands of local government maladministration of which to date is still covered up.

I hope you all take great pride in the above reality of life check resulting from the last 6 months worth of deliberation of a system, which refers itself to itself and blatantly ignores the obvious facts. As said previously, the higher your investigation forced itself up itself, the further removed we became from my Son's best interests (the original objective) and ended up consumed within the politics.

I will be maintaining contact until my son gets his place back at the school he has a right to be a class member of, before you kindly gave it to another child undeserved of this position. Joseph is currently 1st on the waiting list and I will be keeping close communication with Geoff Dodd who I hasten to add has been the only humane person within this whole outrage. We now in hindsight (16/02/07) take this statement back as Geoff Dodd has done NOTHING to HELP AND SUPPORT our abuse. He has simply paid lip service to all parties and sits on the fence to keep all parties happy. This sickens us!

I will continue to campaign against the LGO and Stockport LEA and the flawed processes it exercises and will be watching these institutions closely.

If any of the responsible are parents and have any compassion, you should be able to relate to this, if NOT I hope you can sleep at night!

With the utmost kindest regards,

Jason Hughes.

15th September 2006. Email sent to Pat Morgan, Head of Service? Pupils, Parents & Schools Service, Children & Young Peoples Directorate, Stockport Council-

Pat, Are you really the head of service? Your signature has changed on the previous 3 emails you have sent through. An automatic signature would be consistent if authentic. Forgive me for being paranoid but that is how I have been encouraged to behave by your organisation and LGO.

I haven't had the opportunity to contact you since last emailing. However I must advise you of this weeks circumstances.

I would like to put aside for a second all of the politics and beurocracy of the past 6 months, the pain, hurt and anguish we have all felt including your staff and explain real life experience of this circumstance which simply isn't fair, workable or psychologically acceptable.

You are aware of initial email I sent through which prompted you to make yourself known to me. I have since felt as suggested a feeling of acknowledgement from you? I hold that thought for the time being.

This isn't a plea for change of mind or an attempt at making wrong right / right wrong, just a statement to make local authority aware of the pressure this outcome in particular has put not only my children, ex wife, but also immediate friends and parents of other children within both schools. Parents everywhere who see Nichole and I attempting to do this on a daily basis cannot believe we have been put in this situation and do not agree with even considering separating siblings irrespective of policy.

Anyhow, Joseph still remains to be tearful on a daily basis. This as a father sickens me knowing this would not happen had he been allowed his sibling support. He cries on entry to the school and requires constant consoling which helps none of us trying to maintain this amongst, work and other life expectations. I found myself struggling with time on Tuesday. Joseph was beside himself at the thought of maybe having to be left with the teachers in reception in order for me to get Eleanor to Norbury in time. So as to encourage him to stop crying I had to knock on the window of the class and ask the teacher to take him in early. This is not fair on a family who do not deserve this and two children who expect more from their local council. This does not encourage good relationships either with the school when I find myself knocking on windows hurrying staff along.

Nichole and I are having to call upon parents who are considering signing a petition against this due to the physical inability to be in two places at one time and prepare two children for two separate schools. People around us cannot comprehend this expectation. We have extended drop offs, some parents supervising playgrounds some mornings, some parents picking up or hanging around in playgrounds until us being able to arrive from the other school afterwards. Whilst the weather is good this is OK but winter is fast approaching and I am sure good will, will pass by quickly.

If we are to have to continue with this then I can only say the longer this happens the more it will effect all concerned and eventually break down as we have to involve too many people in order to accommodate this situation. I appreciate your intention is not to see a family breakdown but that is exactly where we are heading and the plates are already beginning to fall.
I don't know what to say other than I never thought when my children were born I would find myself fighting for their rights to be together. As divorced parents our main priority was to have as little effect on their individual emotions as possible and keep them together at all times to which we have been very successful and have two very much loved, happy children. You can see the despair within this whole situation and I know, Pat, that you as much as Jan Morris and everybody else involved in this would like to see an end to our torture of this separation. However it only took a few short emails for me to get a thought you may be sincere. Please don't feel that I may try to latch on to a thought of this as that is not the case. I simply hope there is some compassion within a system that tight it fails to in some circumstances respect the need to be and enforce flexibility.

I hope to touch base with you next week.


Jason Hughes.

27th October 2006. Email sent to Pat Morgan (the now known 4th offender), Head of Service, Pupils, Parents & Schools Service, Children & Young Peoples Directorate, Stockport Council. Email also circulated to all concerned parties and media types. Now inclusive of the Number 10 Downing Street Team.

Hi Pat,

No reply or communication since my last email. Your proposed sideline offer of attempting to move my children again into another school under the pretence of putting them together was clearly unacceptable although typical of your organisation and team. Please do not attempt to home in on anything other than the issue which is, Stockport Council Admission Team support, practice and enforce total corruption of school admissions and also condone the separation of siblings. I have given you the opportunity to maintain your potential sincerity and have only experienced a further lead into a false sense of security. Very disappointed with you Pat but not surprised due to my previous experience with your civil servant colleagues who aren't worth the money I pay them in taxes! I assume that these non academic backgrounds and inherent practice of bygone days encourage this type of behaviour. I am disgusted with you!

Anyhow, we carry on practicing your suggestion of supposed acceptable practice and are continuing to suffer the consequences of your incorrect decisions and severe misconduct. Why does honesty backfire. I encourage anybody entering this system to lie as nobody will ever find out. Tell the truth and you provide the team with an objective to actually work.

Please advise of Josephs position on the waiting list. If your team have moved him again then I have no alternative than to involve legal representation. We have had enough bullying tactics due to incompetence and cover up to last a lifetime. I have threatened this before but am now prepared to loose everything for the cause of justice!

Because of the finely distributed effort and physical ability to be in two places at one time I haven't had the opportunity to pay for Eleanor's dinner money. I would suggest as a way of helping parents who have been abused by this system that you subsidies these fees on an annual basis until both children are back together as they should be had maladministration NOT prevailed. I DO NOT take kindly to threatening letters from "School Admin Officers" on school letterheaded paper from Norbury Hall demanding fees from me when the institution I am paying has abused my family and children!

I am sick and tired of staff who sit on fences, blaming the problems on Stockport Council taking responsibility of policy / procedure and humouring me and my family. I am now increasing momentum on this campaign due to the likes of you becoming complacent and burying your heads in the sand. The school admission code of conduct review doesn't complete for another month and all this is being provided to this review as is my blog available for all to see through the internet.

I demand my children are put back together as they should have been in the first place had your team not actively separated them! I feel sorry for the team at Moorfield Primary as this could potentially reflect badly on them as a school. I wish to confirm that is not the case and my ex wife has had nothing but a positive experience with the team and Mr Phillips. I am yet to meet with Mr Philips due to my split commitment although have communicated via email. We have tried to approach moving Eleanor to Moorfield.



This email will be added to my blogspot and again offered out to various media types. Enough is now enough with this subject. The time has come to really conclude this one way or another!

Jason Hughes.

1st November 2006. Email sent to John Schultz, Chief Executive, Stockport Council. Replied to promptly confirming a review of the complaint. We finally live in HOPE, HOPE, HOPE, HOPE, HOPE of a positive resolution accordingly.

Dear John,

A rather familiar opening although I have communicated constantly with your subordinates for the past 9 months to no avail. I have no alternative than to approach the chief organ grinder in relation to corruption relating to primary school admission within Stockport Council.

I respect you are a very busy gentleman and would have hoped your footmen to have done a better job in defusing the need for the public to escalate to your level, unfortunately that isn't the case with my circumstance. I attach a hyperlink to my comprehensive blog for your perusal. I am sure you will not take too kindly to my experience and articulated record of events. However this is a true record and a true reflection of the abuse my family on the ground have suffered at the hands of your lower level teams. Not only did this become a problem with the local team but was also supported "not surprisingly by your advocates, the LGO". This institution is soon to be scrapped and reformed as a TRUE independent organisation. This cannot happen soon enough!

Everybody aware of this case, (it’s a laughing joke with all parents within both playgrounds) keep asking why anybody other than somebody who knows whole heartedly the truth, bother to pursue such a campaign. I cannot seem to get this message through to your subordinates and unfortunately it’s the ones on the lowest level who have let all subsequent escalation down through informing them and I incorrectly.

As the CEO of the organisation I expect a full, comprehensive review of this case and hope you will question the truth and loopholes which exist all over this case. Being a senior member of the NHS I would expect my CEO to engage my support in resolving fairly any complaint as serious as this. I would actively seek out loopholes and expose injustice to conclude a resolution. The purpose of this is to help you modernise and improve your services through listening and lessons learnt. Any organisation of this scale will get things wrong, sometimes? However your lower level colleagues suggest you are perfect and water tight in every way on every subject. There is no such thing and this is now embarrassing. I am not out to get money or compensation driven by greed, I simply want my sons place back at his school your staff stole from him through maladministration. I hasten to add his sister is also at this school and cannot understand why it is deemed appropriate for your staff to think separating siblings is correct especially when I review the content of your policies. The 30 class size rule is nonsense when it comes to siblings and will hopefully be removed because of the level of complaints provided through the code of conduct review to be applied 2007.

My son has to be given his place back at the school your team kindly took from him due to maladministration. I will not saturate you with any he said, she said as that will insult your intelligence. All I ask is for you to apply the correct decision on this case and put my son back into his rightful school with his sister. There are children your staff gave places to who live miles further out of the area than me. Come on!

I am 9 months into this and am now escalating to an executive level. I hope to god I am not communicating with another blinkered, incorrect informed member of the chain and ask for your full attention on this case. I hope they don't let you and my family down again.

In anticipation and optimistic hope with sorting this out once and for all,

Jason, Nichole, Eleanor and Joseph Hughes.

p.s. Mr Dodd, Headmaster of Norbury Hall repeatedly says he will take Joseph into the school. No more staff sitting on fences, this is genuine fact. 1 more classmate will not make the slightest bit of difference he says. This is the correct outcome to finally put all this to rest and allow 2 siblings to be together and 2 parents to get on with their lives. We will in time forgive Stockport Council and anybody else associated with the pain and suffering they subjected us to and hope we never experience anything like this again!

Again, in optimistic hope with sorting this out once and for all.

16th November 2006. Email sent to Margaret Riley, Corporate Complaints Officer after receiving a letter regarding my complaint being reviewed under stage 2 of the official complaints procedure.

Dear Margaret,

I am in receipt of a letter from Marion Jefferson notifying me that John Schultz has nominated you as the corporate complaints officer independent of the service concerned to review my case.

I note the letter mentions the complaint can take up to 20 working days to investigate. I ask you to take your time within this complaint in order to ascertain the real truth. I hope you have the autonomy to question and penetrate the barriers which have been erected and seek the truth and expose injustice. We initially trust everybody who becomes involved in this case but have been let down by so many to date. This mainly being the people before you have rushed matters and simply listened to the misinformed without question. I am sorry to say, but at this moment in time I hold little faith in you. Please prove us wrong and break the mould for the sake of my son who does not deserve to be in this position. I care for and want nothing other than justice. I welcome the opportunity to stop this campaign. This however will only stop when Joseph is back at Norbury Hall.

We are happy for Joseph to go back to his deserved placement at Norbury for the new year term, January 2007. We will forget 2006.

Jason Hughes.

17th November 2006. Email received from John Schultz, Chief Executive of Stockport Council.

Dear Mr Hughes,

I hope to have completed the review of this case by the end of January.

John Schultz

(Feeling rather sceptical again at this response. Although I appreciate I asked for the team not to rush matters, I feel the response from the CE was a little short and sweet. I have not given up on him yet! I will allow the chief organ grinder who manages in some areas monkeys the opportunity to review this case with what is hoped complete independence). Further updates to follow until such time as my son gets his place back at his natural school placement had this team not stole it from him!

p.s. I have completed my online response today which has been submitted to the Department for Education and skills regarding the school admissions consultation 2006. The content of this blog is a major factor of the response.

2nd February 2007. Margaret Riley from the Corporate Complaints team visited my home and interviewed my Ex wife and I to ascertain the scope of the complaint and review. The scope of the complaint is as follows: -

Complaint – School Place Allocation

Following the meeting at your house on Thursday 2 February, I am now writing to clarify the issues you would like me to investigate at Stage 2 of the Council’s complaints procedure:

1. Procedures concerning primary school admissions were misleading:

a) Application forms should ask for more detail inline with the decision making element of the policy. Never assume due to ignorance that the child benefit book is the determining factor.
b) Pupil’s address should be validated as stated on the application form; does this ever happen? Proof required.
c) Specific childcare arrangements should be requested on the form, as this is crucial to the appropriate allocation of school places.

2. Why was a child’s place at Norbury Primary School, which had previously been refused and given back to the school by a parent, be awarded to the same child again in preference to Joseph by Mr Dodd (the headteacher and the incompetent LEA allies?).

3. What processes are in place for teams to be appraised against their published policies (ie school admissions policies, Appendix 1)? Clearly this experience demonstrates this hasn’t happened, as the team were unaware of their policy! Had they been aware Joseph would be in his correct school.

4. How do the schools appeals process, the Council’s complaints procedure and the Local Government Ombudsman link together? Experience has shown that the Council refer you out after appeal without any guidance or reference to further internal corporate stages. You become consumed within an LGO process that creates and compounds nothing but politics and a numbers game. We experienced institutional bullying and my son became simply another statistic! Only through contacting the CE did I become aware of the further internal processes available and I have to say this is what I had asked for all along. I feel my direction was purposely diverted because of the direct investigation approach we are now experiencing.

5. Why were we told that we would have to get a solicitor to access the notes of the appeals process? This would also have incurred a financial cost. Again experience suggests that was another divert as the notes do not reflect the true position and are insulting in parts. Notes provided eventually by LGO.

As previously indicated, you will receive my response no later 31 March 2007.

Additionally, I gave you details of the consultation exercise concerning changes to the schools’ admission’s policy for primary schools, which closes on the 16 February 2007.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Riley
Corporate Complaints Officer

My response, I have to say that in relation to the DFES consultation they asked specific real and measurable questions. This simply asked a couple of multiple-choice questions then asked for comments. I don’t hold out any faith in how the outcome could be suitably measured from such limited information and concerns me again that this is the way this team works? I would welcome the opportunity of being an external assessor of this and offer real advise on how to direct this further.

20th February 2007. Email to OFSTED!-

This isn't a complaint against OFSTED, simply an example of how a head teacher felt the need to manipulate alongside Stockport Council the 30 class size rule in order to gain top marks. This I find criminal and hope that the recent DFES consultation completely exposes the injustice schools and LEA\'s play in totally corrupting the admission of children to primary school and the separation of siblings in order to gain top marks when OFSTED visit. I ask that a letter is sent to Mr Dodd (Head teacher of Norbury Hall in Hazel Grove) notifying him of this complaint. His lack of wanting to become involved and stick his neck out after his staff let us down and influence the correct decision was in hindsight clearly compounded by his desire to gain top marks by keeping to the golden 30 class size rule and please OFSTED. This has resulted in the attached comprehensive case of events. I hasten to add that when we went to appeal every other school admitted more children within the year. Norbury Hall admitted none of the appeals. Life isn't that simple in the 21st century and this head teacher needs notifying of that! Flexibility within the service is what is required, not the application of an unknown policy that the public finally expose and notify the institution of its correct procedure! Please keep this in mind next time you visit this school!

I am sure he and the cloned staff played a nice little tune on the visit. Don't be fooled!

Hyperlink attached: -

I welcome an appropriate response to this complaint against Norbury Hall. My complaint is in its final stages with Stockport Council and I will be publicising this again through local and national media where possible.

In anticipation of your prompt probing / appropriate questioning of this little institution known as Norbury Hall!

Jason Hughes.

Response from OFSTED

Dear Mr Hughes,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Your concerns have been noted and forwarded to the relevant department.

Should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.


Ofsted - National Business Unit


2009 and a major change in school admissions has occurred. I am incredibly proud that after may years of fighting this instititution we have managed to change national policy. This we believe is an acknowledgement of maladministration within local council offices and also a reflection of Stockport Councils Maladministration in particular. THIS BLOG CLEARLY DEMONSTRATES THAT JUSTICE CAN BE FOUND WITHIN A SYSTEM THAT CONDONES ITSELF AND IT'S LIES!. I THEREFORE CONSIDER THIS LENGHTY FIGHT FOR JUSTICE A SUCCESS!!!