State schools

State schools include:

  • maintained schools
  • academies and free schools

Contact your local council or call your local police on 101 if you think a child is at risk. Call 999 if a child is in immediate danger.

How to complain

Contact the school to discuss the problem first - most problems can be solved this way.

Follow all the steps in the school’s complaints procedure to make a formal complaint. Every school in England must have one. It’s often on the school’s website and should tell you the kind of complaints the school deals with.

You may not be able to complain to academies or free schools if you do not have a child at the school.

You can complain to the Department for Education (DfE) directly if:

  • a child is at risk
  • a child is missing school
  • the school is stopping you from following its complaints procedure

If you think your complaint was not dealt with correctly

You can ask DfE to consider your complaint if you’ve followed all the steps in the school’s complaints procedure.

Tell Ofsted about a problem

Ofsted cannot respond to or resolve individual complaints but you can still tell Ofsted about a problem with a school. They can use the information you provide to decide when to inspect and what areas to focus the inspection on.