Complain about a school or childminder

3. Private schools

Contact your local council or call your local police on 101 if you think a child is in danger.

Make a complaint

Follow these steps in order.

Only move on to the next step if your complaint is not resolved.

  1. Follow the school’s complaints procedure - every school in England must have one.

  2. Complain in writing to the headteacher.

  3. Complain in writing to the school’s governing body.

The school complaints procedure will tell you what kind of complaints the school will deal with, such as bullying or bad behaviour.

You can’t complain directly to a private school if you don’t have a child at the school.

Further complaints

The Department for Education (DfE) can’t investigate individual complaints about private schools. But it has certain powers as a regulator if the school is not meeting standards set by DfE for:

  • education
  • pupil welfare and health and safety
  • school premises
  • staff suitability
  • making information available to parents
  • spiritual, moral, social or cultural development of students

DfE will consider any reports of a major failure to meet the standards. It can arrange an emergency inspection to look at pupil welfare and health and safety, and make sure serious failings are dealt with.

DfE can ask the school inspectorates to take minor complaints into account when the school is next inspected.

You can complain to the DfE by filling in the school complaints form.