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Complaints about schools

How to complain

Any concerns you have about your child’s education can usually be settled by speaking to the headteacher or other member of staff.

Formal complaint

In terms of making a formal complaint, the headteacher will be able tell you how to make a formal complaint to the governing body. This is usually by completing a complaint form provided by the school or by writing a letter to the Chair of the governing body. You should make it clear:

  • why you are complaining
  • who you have spoken to already
  • what you want to happen as a result of your complaint

The Chair of governors should arrange for your complaint to be investigated. The governor in charge of investigating your complaint may ask to meet you to clarify the nature and detail of your complaint.

They will give you full details of how they will carry out any further investigation to keep you up to date with progress.

How long will it take to deal with a formal complaint?

The governing body should aim to respond to your complaint within 28 school working days of receiving your written complaint. If there is any delay, they will let you know the reasons and keep you informed. Individual schools may adopt slightly different complaint policies so it is important you find out the procedure when you submit your complaint.

When the panel has fully investigated your complaint, the governing body will write to you confirming the outcome of your complaint and any agreed action to be taken.

What if I am not satisfied with the school’s handling of my complaint?

From 1 August 2012 complaints about maintained schools not resolved by the school that would have been considered by the Local Government Ombudsman or the local authority should be addressed to the Secretary of State for Education.

  • Telephone: 0370 000 2288 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm)