Compliments, Concerns and Complaints about a school
If you have a compliment about your child’s school
If you feel that your child’s school or certain members of staff are working hard to ensure your child’s education is the best it can be, they would love to hear from you. As well as contacting them directly you may also want to consider writing to the Governors and/or putting your views on Ofsted using the Parent view form (see below)
If you have a concern or complaint about your child's school
If you are unhappy with something that has happened at your child’s school, raise your concerns or complaint to the staff involved first. It's important to do this before taking any further action as it gives them the opportunity to resolve your concerns informally. Most concerns or complaints are resolved at this first stage. However, if they are not resolved you may wish to raise a formal complaint. All schools have a complaints policy that outline the process to be able to do this and should be available on their website or by contacting the school office. There are different stages to a complaint, depending on what or who your complaint is about and what has already been done to try and resolve it.
If the complaint reaches the Head Teacher Stage and has still not been resolved then the next stage would be contacting the Governing Body responsible for the school. Contact details should be in the school’s complaint policy or on the written response from the Head Teacher.
West Sussex County Council also have more information on how to make a formal complaint.
SEND complaints: guidance for parent carers with children in education
SEND complaints: guidance for young people aged 16 to 25 in education
The guide for young people aged 16 to 25 is useful if you want to know who to talk to if you are unhappy with the help you are getting for your special educational needs or disability at school or college.
You might also find this guide useful if you are an individual or an organisation supporting young people.
This guide has been jointly developed by the Department for Education and Mott MacDonald, with help from young people with a learning disability and organisations that support them.
Ofsted's Parent View
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsmen – Formerly LGO)
In some cases , the Ombudsman can look at the way the school has dealt with a child's special educational needs. If your child has an EHCP, the council has to work with the school to ensure your child gets the provision set out the plan. The Ombudsman can look at the school’s role in delivering the provision and how the council ensured the school provided the support as set out in the EHCP. If you complain the council is failing to arrange and maintain the specified provision, they can look at this, but can only make findings about the council, not the school. If they find fault causing injustice, they can make recommendations for what the council needs to do.
Note from the Ombudsmen’s website: Academies operate independently of local authorities, and we cannot currently look at complaints about them. You should speak to the academy initially about how to complain. They will provide you with a copy of their complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about an academy that you have been unable to resolve, you can write to the Secretary of State for Education. There are some exclusion and admission complaints we can look at if a school has recently converted to an academy.
Support with concerns or complaints
If you feel that you need help with sharing your concerns with the school, or making a complaint, then please contact West Sussex SENDIAS (SEND Information, advice and Support) Service on 0330 222 8555 or by emailing [email protected]
- SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
- Support at school for my child/young person
- Primary Schools
- Secondary Schools
- Guidance for Admissions to Mainstream Schools for Pupils with EHCPs
- Special Support Centres (SSC) in West Sussex
- Guidance Associated with Admissions to West Sussex Special Support Centres (SSC) for Pupils with EHCPs
- Special Schools in West Sussex
- Guidance Associated with Admissions to West Sussex Special Schools for Pupils with EHCPs
- Independent and Non Maintained Schools
- School Exclusions
- Worried about school/college
- Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service Online Support Offer