Complaints about a school or academy

Contact the school to discuss the problem first - most problems can be solved this way.

The local authority does not manage complaints about schools or academies.

We screen any complaints that we receive. We will usually signpost you to the school’s own complaints process.

In some cases, we refer concerns raised with us to our school safeguarding team. They will record the information and if appropriate, take action. The safeguarding team will not be able to provide feedback on individual cases. But they carefully consider every referral that they receive.

Making a formal complaint

Follow all the steps in the school’s complaints procedure to make a formal complaint. Every school must have a complaints process. It is often on the school’s website. It tells you how to complain and how to take it further if:

  • you are not happy with their response or
  • you do not think they followed the process correctly.

Complaints to the Department for Education

You can complain to the Department for Education (DfE) directly if:

  • a child is at risk
  • a child is missing school
  • the school is stopping you from following its complaints procedure, or
  • you think the school did not deal with your complaint correctly (and you have followed all the steps in the school’s complaints procedure).

Tell Ofsted about a problem

Ofsted cannot respond to or resolve individual complaints. But you can still tell Ofsted about a problem with a school. They can use the information you provide to decide when to inspect and what areas to focus the inspection on.