Our son was mistreated at his school and we were lied to by the headteacher, (who was also SENCO) for a number of years, she told us for 3 years he was not special needs and needed no support, even bringing in an outside party, not connected to the school to enforce this opinion.
In fact, she was claiming him as a special needs child on paper, without ever informing us nor giving him the support.
When this came to light, we approached the Head teacher who ignored us and our son started receiving unnecessary daily punishment. This along with the bullying that had started and was being ignored, our son became suicidal at the age of 10.
We approached the school to discuss our concerns about the way our son was feeling and we were told he would not be receiving any support from them and any bullying of him, they were just going to class as pranks. They even mocked and laughed at our son's mental state. We were completely shocked by this, especially taking into account the school's outstanding status.
We thought we would follow the correct procedure and make a complaint to the board of governors.
The governors flatly refused to investigate, telling us the headteacher had investigated herself and found she had done no wrong! They would not tell us why, were told we couldn't appeal and whatever the headteacher had done, she had their unreserved support.
Immediately following this we found our sons Educational Record had had documents removed, added and records regarding his special needs had been altered. Lucky for us we already had the originals!
Obviously we challenged this and were instantly met with threats of legal action and union involvement and were bombarded with phone calls and even a visit from a governor to reinforce their threats and the chair shouting at us, telling us our son should get over it, the governor also told us the local authority had told them not to investigate.
We contacted the LEA and were told this was not the case but unfortunately they could not investigate the school.
We contacted the LGO who also said they had no power to investigate the school, they told us to write to the DFE.
The DFE passed our complaint to the YPLA who contacted us, stating they can and will investigate, even sending us a list of where the school needed to be investigated and in some cases where they had acted unlawfully.
For 6 months the YPLA stayed in constant contact, stated they had discussed it with their legal team, it was being "discussed nationally" and they were launching an investigation.
We suddenly received a letter from the YPLA (now the EFA) stating that because of their academy status, they have chosen not to investigate this but still acknowledged they had all the evidence validating our complaint.
After numerous correspondence, which we also sent to Michael Gove, they still flatly refuse to take action.
Now with academies free to regulate themselves in any way they see fit and the governments unwillingness to act in anyway. This leaves the teachers and governors free to conduct themselves however they like, flouting the laws and procedures without any fear of consequence.
Our son has been through hell over the last few years, only just starting to recover from this at a new school, with the help of councilling and support. Our fear is that with the academies new found power and Michael Gove's complete lack of interest, that our son's case will be the first of many (if it isn't already).