1. Home
  2. Children and families
  3. How Children's Services are managed
  4. Feedback and complaints about Children's Services

Feedback and complaints about Children's Services

Feedback and complaints about Children's Services

East Sussex County Council values the views of our service users. We are committed to dealing effectively with any concerns or complaints about our services. If we have got something wrong, we’ll apologise, and try to put things right. We learn from complaints to help improve our services.


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.


Can I complain?

You must have:

  • parental responsibility for the child involved
  • no ongoing proceedings relating to the complaint
  • waited no longer than 12 months to complain
  • completed any relevant appeals process

How do I complain?

  1. Talk to the person you’ve been dealing with or their manager. Explain what went wrong and how they can fix it, be clear about what you want and how the team can help you.

  2. Once you have tried the above, if things still aren’t right, click the button below to make a complaint about Children’s Services. First we will validate your complaint and then take the details. Make sure you are clear about what went wrong and what you would like us to do to put things right.

  3. If necessary, we will set out our understanding of your concerns and ask you to confirm that we’ve got it right. We’ll also ask you to tell us what outcome you’re hoping for.

  4. If we can’t sort things out straight away, we’ll aim to give you a full response within 10 working days. If it takes longer, we’ll tell you and explain why.

  5. If you’re not happy with the response, let your complaints officer know. They’ll tell you what you can do next for social care complaints, or confirm you’ve reached the end of the complaints process.

  6. If you’re still not satisfied, you can contact the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman.


Complaints policy

We value the views of our service users.

We are committed to dealing effectively with any concerns or complaints about our services. If we have got something wrong, we’ll apologise, and try to put things right.

We learn from complaints to help improve our services.

Read our complaints policy.


Compliments

Use our online feedback form to tell us what we’ve done well. We’ll share this with the person concerned and their manager.


Annual complaints report

We must publish an annual summary of the complaints that we handle. We also report on compliments, enquiries from elected members and other feedback we receive.

We aim to publish the report by the end of June each year. The report covers the previous financial year ending 31 March.

Read our latest annual report. (14 pages)