School Complaints

It is the responsibility of individual schools to respond to complaints about the school. You can get a copy of your school's complaints procedure from the school office.

Informal Stage

Many concerns can be resolved quickly, often by making early contact with the class teacher or Head of Year. If this is not possible, or the teacher is unable to resolve the concern, the parent, carer or pupil should contact the Head Teacher or Deputy Head Teacher.

The person who receives the complaint should attempt to work with the family to resolve the complaint informally. This may involve:

  • Mediation and conciliation
  • Explaining policies or decisions
  • Helping the pupil to express their views to another person
  • Review of educational provision
  • Review of support services

Formal Stage

If the pupil, parent or carer is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal investigation, they may wish to make a formal complaint. This should be done in writing to the Head Teacher.

If the complaint is about the Head Teacher, or if the problem is not resolved, the matter should be referred to the Chair of Governors of the school.

The school and its governors have a duty in law to act properly and investigate complaints impartially. Once investigations are complete the person making the complaint should receive a written response from the school. If pupils, parents or carers are not satisfied with the response they can refer the complaint to a review committee of governors, known as the complaints committee.

What can I do if it is still not resolved?

Department for Education

If your complaint is about a local authority maintained nursery, primary, secondary or special school you can refer your complaint to the Department for Education

Education and Skills Funding Agency

If your complaint is about an academy, free school or independent school you can complain to the Education and Skills Funding Agency

If your complaint is about a college or other post-16 training provider you can complain to the Education and Skills Funding Agency


Ofsted will not investigate complaints about individual issues but may investigate whole school issues or complaints about how a school complies with regulations. For more information contact Ofsted

Last Updated

Last updated: 17/11/2023


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