Making a complaint to your child's school

The County Council does not have authority over schools in the complaints process

When to complain to the school

Contact the school if you are concerned about issues such as:

  • your child’s academic progress
  • special educational needs provision provided by the school
  • your child’s wellbeing in school
  • bullying
  • something that has happened in school

You should also contact the school about wider issues such as:

  • the overall running of the school
  • school policies (including school uniforms, rules and school meals)
  • management of the school budget
  • the local community’s use of school facilities
  • external services delivered by the school, such as adult learning or after-school clubs
How to complain to the school

Speak to the teacher

Speak to the relevant member of staff as soon as you have a concern. In a primary school, this may be the class teacher. In a secondary school it may be the form tutor or head of year.

This informal approach is nearly always the quickest and most effective way of resolving your concerns.

Ask for the school's complaints procedure

All schools including academies will have a complaints process. If you feel that your concern has not been answered, ask the school for a copy of its complaints procedure. This will explain what you should do next.

If you need to take your complaint further

If you have exhausted the school complaints process, and still think that the school has acted unreasonably or not followed the correct procedures in relation to your complaint, you can contact either the Department for Education or the Education Funding Agency depending on the type of school involved.

Find out more about complaining about a school

Complaints about the whole school

You can complain to Ofsted if you think a school is not being managed properly and needs inspecting. Ofsted does not investigate issues relating to individual pupils. For example it does not investigate complaints about a pupil being excluded from school. or not being offered a place at a school.

You can only complain to Ofsted if you have already followed the school’s own complaints procedure. You should get a response within 30 working days. It will tell you if Ofsted will investigate or not, and why.