You can complain about an Ofsted inspection report if you’re a school, childcare provider or other institution inspected by Ofsted and you think there was a problem with:

  • the inspection process
  • how the inspection was conducted, for example the behaviour of an inspector
  • the outcome of the inspection, including the report

If you’re a parent or member of the public, contact the school or provider with your concerns about an inspection. You can’t complain to Ofsted directly.

Ofsted is unlikely to stop the publication of a report or remove an existing one while a complaint is being investigated.

Before you complain

You should raise any concerns during the inspection by speaking to the lead inspector.

Call the Ofsted helpline if you can’t speak to the lead inspector - ask for a senior manager from Ofsted or the company coordinating the inspection.

Concerns can often be addressed before the report is drafted or published.

Ofsted helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 1231
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

How to complain

You must complain online if your concerns were not resolved during the inspection.

You can complain at any time up to 10 working days:

  • after the concern was raised
  • after the report has been published

Read about how Ofsted handles complaints.

What happens next

An investigating officer will contact you to discuss the complaint. They’ll investigate using:

  • evidence from the report
  • feedback from the team that carried out your inspection

You’ll get a written response, normally within 30 working days of Ofsted getting your complaint.

Ask for an ‘internal review’

You can ask Ofsted to review your complaint again (known as an internal review) if you’re not happy with the way it was handled.

You must do this within 15 working days of the date the original response was sent.

A ‘scrutiny committee’ will independently review the handling of your complaint. You should get a final response within 30 working days.

If you’re still unhappy

You can ask Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted (ICASO) to review the case.

You must do this within 3 months of getting Ofsted’s written response to the internal review.

ICASO can’t change the outcome of the complaint, but it can make recommendations to Ofsted.

If you’re an individual or a private organisation and you’re unhappy with ICASO’s review, you can also complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. They don’t handle complaints from public organisations, eg state schools.