Complaints about preschools, schools or colleges
We (Hertfordshire County Council) are not responsible for dealing with complaints about schools and educational settings.
By law, every preschool, school and college should have their own complaints procedure. You should be able to find this on their website, but if you can't find it, you can contact their office and ask for a copy.
In most cases their procedure will direct you to complain informally first to the member of staff closest to the issue, or who knows the most about it. If your complaint is about that member of staff, then someone more senior will deal with it.
If your issue is still not resolved, then the school's complaints procedure will tell you what happens next. Formal complaints are usually dealt with by the Headteacher, and after that the Chair of Governors. In most cases, they will arrange for a panel of Governors to consider your complaint.
If you have a complaint about Section F in your Education, Health and Care Plan - you can contact the Complaints Team for Children's Services.
If you go through the whole complaints procedure, and your issue is still not resolved, the next steps will depend on the nature of your issue, and the type of school you have a complaint about:
Academies, Free Schools, Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) can investigate how a complaint to an academy has been handled. They cannot overturn an academy's decision about a complaint, only check that the correct procedures have been followed.
If the school you are complaining about is a:
- Voluntary- Controlled
- Foundation or Trust School
- Education Support Centre
- Pupil Referral Unit
You can approach the Secretary of State at the Department for Education, to request that they consider doing a further investigation.
- Independent (private) school - You can use the Independent Schools Inspectorate Guidance on what to do if you have concerns about an independent school. You may also want to seek your own independent legal advice if the issue is to do with something in your contract with the school.
- Local authority funded schools (mainstream or special) - There is no stage beyond the school's complaints procedure. However, if your complaint is to do with a young person's Education Health and Care Plan, you can contact the Complaints Team for Children's Services.