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School complaints

Here you will find details of the process you will need to follow when making a complaint about a school.

Please note: It is the responsibility of the school to investigate most complaints and not the Local Authority.

Complaints about the curriculum 

We have procedures in place to deal with complaints about the Curriculum, such as:

  • Sex Education.
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN).
  • Child Protection Investigations.
  • Admissions and Exclusions. (For Foundation, Voluntary Aided schools, Academies and Trust schools contact the Governing Body or Academy Trust of the school).

Queries about the above should be raise using our feedback form: Complaints and compliments.

Concerns or complaints about a school

Communication, written or spoken, is valued as part of the partnership between home and school. Co-operation between parents, staff and governors leads to a shared sense of purpose and a good atmosphere in the school. This page explains the procedure that you should follow if you have a concern or a complaint.

Dealing with concerns/complaints informally

If you have a concern or complaint you should make contact with the appropriate member of staff. This may be the class teacher or the headteacher if s/he is immediately involved.

They can then investigate your complaint/concern and give you a response, making clear any action or monitoring of a situation that may be necessary. At this stage, misunderstandings can usually be cleared up. An apology can be given if something is found to be wrong. Everyone benefits from the speedy resolution of difficulties and from suggestions for improvement.

If no satisfactory solution to the complaint has been agreed you should be informed of your option to take the matter further.

What do I do next?

If you want to take the matter to a formal stage, you will need to follow the School’s Complaint’s Procedure. This can be found on the school website.

If I am unhappy with the response, what do I do?

The complaints procedure should talk you through each step of the process. You must be aware that you may not always get the outcome that you desire. Once the final stage is completed by the Governing Body there are other options for you to go, such as the Local Authority or the DfE, however, they will only look at the process and not the actual complaint.

Please note: It is important that you follow each stage as it is shown in the procedure. If you skip any stage without a good reason, it can stop the complaint being dealt with properly.

What happens next?

You should be informed in writing of the panel's decision. There is usually no appeal mechanism to the governing body. If you are not happy with this decision you can ask the Group Director, Children and Young People's Services whether your complaint is one which can be heard by them. The local authority cannot investigate a complaint, it can only investigate the process followed by the governing body.

If you are still unhappy, the final resort is the Secretary of State for Education.


This whole process exists so that your views, and the views of others, can be heard. You have rights. Pupils have rights. Staff and governors have rights. The aim is that the complaint should be properly and fairly dealt with. Communications with schools are frequent and are welcome. The later stages of the complaints procedure are rarely used, but stay part of the process. Services are improved by a positive response to compliments, concerns and complaints.

For more details on complaints procedures, School complaints procedures - guidance for schools (GOV.UK).


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