Last reviewed on 23 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 44833

Be clear how to investigate complaints about your school in a thorough and timely manner. Download our checklist to help you carry out a formal investigation, and know what to include in your complaints procedure and when to seek external support.

You must have a complaints procedure

All maintained schools must have a complaints procedure and publish it on their website. This is set out in section 29 of the Education Act 2002.

Your procedure must: 

  • Cover all complaints about your school, including any facilities or services you provide (though you'll cover some types of complaints in separate statutory procedures – read more about this below)
  • 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 (LA) without amendments

Your policy document must clearly set out your procedures - a general guidance document on how to make a complaint isn't enough. 

Download our model complaints procedure – there's also a checklist if you prefer to update or write your document. 

A concern - an expression of worry