Complaints procedure

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) formed on 1 April 2017 and brings together the work of Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

We are working to streamline our complaints procedures as a new agency.

Our complaints process covers:

  • the service you have received from ESFA or our predecessor agencies (EFA and SFA)
  • a post-16 training provider, college or employer we fund
  • an academy or free school
  • an independent admissions appeal panel

Complain about the ESFA’s service

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received from ESFA or our predecessor agencies, you can submit a complaint.

For complaints about the service you have received from the new agency, please use the Department for Education complaints procedure.

Complain about a post-16 training provider, college or employer we fund

Before making a complaint to the ESFA about any post-16 training provider, college or employer we fund you should have exhausted the provider’s own complaints procedure, including any appeals process.

If you have already done that and are complaining about:

  • a general further education (FE) college, employer, a sixth form college (that is not an academy) or a training provider
  • a commercial and charitable provider where the complaint relates to provision for students aged 16 to 18 and up to 25 if the learner is subject to a learning disability assessment
  • a commercial and charitable training provider where the complaint relates to provision for post-19 students

Please read the ESFA complaints procedure (PDF, 174KB, 8 pages) .

If you are complaining about post-16 provision in an academy, please read our procedure for dealing with complaints about academies.

Complain about an academy or free school

To complain to ESFA about an open academy or free school you must first have exhausted the institution’s own complaint procedure. If you’re satisfied you have done this, please refer to our guidance on complaints about academies.

Complain about an academy independent appeals panel

You can complain to the ESFA if you think the panel did not follow the procedures set out in the School Admission Appeals Code 2012 where it relates to a free school, an academy, a university technical college or studio schools. If your complaint relates to how an appeal has been carried out in relation to a maintained school you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Other complaints

For information on complaints about other schools, special educational needs, disability discrimination, childminders you should refer to the Department for Education.