School complaints procedures: guidance for schools

Guidance for schools about setting up or reviewing complaints procedures.



This guidance:

  • contains information on what governing bodies of maintained schools should do
  • sets out the legal duties with which they must comply

It’s aimed at governing bodies in all maintained schools and maintained nursery schools in England. This includes:

  • community, foundation or voluntary schools
  • community or foundation special schools
  • nursery schools which are maintained by a local authority and are not special schools

It may also be helpful for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • local authorities
  • dioceses

It’s not intended for use by:

  • academies
  • free schools
  • further education or other post-16 institutions that are not attached to a maintained school
  • independent schools
  • private nursery schools

See guidance on how to complain about a school.

Published 6 January 2016
Last updated 11 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Replaced best practice advice with an updated version for 2019.
  2. First published.