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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 160: Power of Chief Inspector to investigate complaints by parents about schools

629.This section inserts three new sections into the 2005 Act in relation to the powers of the Chief Inspector.

630.Section 11A enables the Chief Inspector to investigate certain written complaints (“qualifying complaints”) about matters of a prescribed description relating to schools, for the purpose of deciding whether to take further action, and in particular whether to use his existing inspection functions. The schools which are covered are: community, foundation and voluntary schools; community and foundation special schools; maintained nursery schools; Academies; city technology colleges; city colleges for the technology of the arts; and special schools which are not community or foundation special schools but are for the time being approved by the Secretary of State under section 342 of the 1996 Act.

631.Section 11B applies to qualifying complaints made by registered parents of registered pupils at a school. It requires the governing body of a school (which, for a non-maintained school, is the proprietor of the school for the purposes of this section) and/or local education authority, in the case of a maintained school, to make specified information and other information relevant to the investigation available to the Chief Inspector on request.

632.Subsections (4) and (5) require the Chief Inspector, where he decides to hold a meeting with parents, to notify the governing body of the school (as defined), or, where the school is a maintained school which does not have a delegated budget, the local education authority. The governing body or local education authority (as appropriate) is required to co-operate in arranging the meeting, including fixing a date for the meeting, allowing for the meeting to take place on the school’s premises and notifying parents of the meeting.

633.Subsection (6) enables a representative of the governing body (as defined), and in the case of a maintained school, a representative from the local education authority, to attend the meeting.

634.Section 11C makes provisions relating to the preparation and distribution of any report made by the Chief Inspector as a result of an investigation of a qualifying complaint under section 11B.

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