King David criticised by Ombudsman

By Cathy Forman, March 19, 2009

Liverpool’s King David Primary has been criticised by a Local Government Ombudsman for inadequately responding to a critical report on an admissions appeal complaint.

The Ombudsman, Anne Seex, reported in January 2008 that one of the school’s admission criteria was not “objective and clear”. It could not fully explain how it selected the 21 applicants from the 54 who applied under the same category as the complainant. The non-Jewish parent had not been given the reasons for his daughter being refused a King David place in 2006, so was unable to prepare for a second appeal.

Ms Seex now recommends that the Childwall school, where one-third of the 420 pupils are Jewish, offers the child a place. And if this is not accepted, it should pay the parent £250 “in recognition of his time and trouble in pursuing his complaint”.

However, governors’ chair Lauren Lesin-Davis stressed: “We have complied with everything we are legally obliged to. The family do not want a place in the school.” The parent had not responded to the offer of a second appeal.

“This is a waste of public time and money,” she added. “To pay the parent £250 is a waste of school funds.”

Liverpool Education Authority confirmed that its admissions panel had upheld the school’s original decision.

Last updated: 3:03pm, March 19 2009