Last reviewed on 15 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 13154

Get to grips with the DfE'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 maintained schools must have a complaints procedure, and publish it on their websites. 

The procedure must:

  • Cover all complaints about your school (including any facilities or services you provide)
  • Allow anyone to make a complaint – you can't limit the policy to parents/carers of current pupils only
  • Be tailored to your school – you can't adopt the policy of your local authority without amendments

Your policy document must clearly set out your procedures - a general guidance document on making complaints isn't enough. Download our model complaints procedure or use our checklist if you prefer to update/write your own procedure. 

These requirements are outlined in the DfE's best practice advice for school complaints.

Types of complaints your policy won't cover

You'll cover complaints about some things in separate procedures. 

Admissions School re-organisation proposals Statutory assessments of special educational needs (SEN) – this means education, health and care (EHC) plan procedures or the