Last reviewed on 16 March 2022
School types: Academy · School phases: All
Ref: 30720

Get to grips with the ESFA's best practice advice on managing school complaints, and learn what to consider as you develop your complaints procedure.

You must have a complaints procedure

All academies are required to have a complaints procedure, and it must:

  • Be put into writing
  • Be made available to parents (you should publish it online)
  • Set out clear timescales for the management of the complaint
  • Cover how you'll handle complaints from parents and pupils at your school - you're not required to follow a procedure for complaints from people who aren't parents of attending pupils, you're just expected to respond respectfully

This is set out in the best practice complaints guidance from the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) and part 7 of the relevant legislation, which we also refer to below.

You must also publish how you'll handle complaints from parents of pupils with SEN about the support their child receives in school (which you can include in your complaints procedure, rather than having a separate document). This is explained in the DfE's list of what you should publish on your website.