Raising a complaint with a school

  • Parents can raise concerns with school staff during the course of their everyday contact with schools.
  • Occasionally concerns are not resolved informally and in these cases parents have a legal right to have their worries dealt with.
  • There are special arrangements for exclusions, admissions and for special education needs.
  • Under Section 29 of the Education Act 2002, governing bodies of all maintained schools and nursery schools must have in place a procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school.
  • It is an important legal principle that the particular procedure used, and the resolution of each complaint, are the responsibility of each individual governing body and not the local authority.
  • The governing body must have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State for Education.

 Brief advice

  • Complaints should always be taken up with a member of the school staff initially.
  • If the complaint is not resolved the head teacher will investigate.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the complaint will normally be heard by the governing body's complaints appeal panel.
  • If you are still not satisfied you can contact the Secretary of State for Education.

We (the Education Authority) have no role in reviewing any school's complaints procedures or in investigating individual complaints, please contact the Secretary of State if you remain dissatisfied with the school's response.