Complain about a school or childminder

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 in danger.

Make a complaint

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

Follow these steps in order.

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

  1. Complain in writing to the headteacher.

  2. Complain in writing to the school’s governors or academy trustees.

The school complaints procedure should be published on the school’s website. It should tell you what kind of complaints the school will deal with, such as bullying or bad behaviour.

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

After you’ve followed the school’s complaint process

You can complain to the Department for Education (DfE) if you’ve followed all the ‘Make a complaint’ steps.

Complain about how a whole school is run

You can complain to Ofsted if:

  • you think a school isn’t run properly and needs inspecting

  • you’ve already followed the school’s complaints procedure, and have approached the DfE or EFA

Check what they can help you with before you contact them.

You should get a response within 30 working days. It will tell you if Ofsted will investigate or not, and why. They may decide the school you’ve complained about doesn’t need to be inspected.