School complaints in England can be progressed via a number of potential routes, according to their nature and seriousness. For complaints involving the individual child rather than a wider ‘whole school’ issue, the arrangements are covered by section 29 of the Education Act 2002, which requires that all governing bodies of maintained schools set in place a procedure to deal with complaints, and make arrangements to publicise it. In the main, schools and parents work well together in resolving issues.
In October 2010, Ecorys (formally ECOTEC) was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to conduct research into parents’ and young people’s complaints about schools that involve an individual child. This report represents the findings from research undertaken between November 2010 and March 2011.