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School complaints

From time to time you might be worried about your child's education. If this happens, contact your child's school as soon as possible to avoid both you and your child becoming more worried about the problem.

All schools have a procedure for dealing with complaints from parents. There may be small differences between procedures in different schools, but most will deal with complaints in a similar way. Most schools will have their complaints procedure on their website for you to look at.

You should ask to speak to your child's class teacher (primary school) or head of year/house (secondary school) to discuss the problem. Most problems can be resolved this way. If you don't feel like the problem is fixed, you can request a meeting with the head teacher to discuss it.

It might not be possible for the teacher or head teacher to meet with you without notice, so you should make an appointment in advance. This gives everyone enough time to discuss the problem properly.

Once you've given the head teacher a reasonable amount of time to deal with your complaint, if you're still worried, you can write to the school's chair of governors.

They'll either look at the complaint themselves, or pass it to the governing body's complaints committee. You'll usually be given the chance to attend a committee meeting to talk about your concerns.

The committee will decide whether or not to uphold some or all of your complaint (meaning they agree with you that there's a problem). If they do uphold your complaint, they'll tell you what will happen next. This is the final stage in the school complaints process.

If your complaint still isn't resolved after the final stage, and you feel that the school has behaved unreasonably about your concern, you can complain to the Department for Education.