Dealing with complaints: a summary for boards

Get a summary of the rules on handling complaints – including against the headteacher, governors, trustees and chair – and see a quick overview of how the process usually goes.

Last reviewed on 31 July 2023
Ref: 42889
  1. Your school must have a complaints procedure
  2. The process for maintained schools
  3. Complaints against heads, chairs and governors 
  4. Anonymous complaints

Your school must have a complaints procedure

In maintained schools, the complaints procedure must be published on your school's website so it's available to parents and the school community. You're required to have a procedure under section 29 of the Education Act 2002.

Your procedure should cover all types of complaint you might expect, including those against staff, the headteacher and governors, and serial complaints. Anyone can make a complaint about a school – they don't have to be a parent of a current pupil. 

Your policy should have a time limit for a person to raise a formal complaint (e.g. within 3 months of an incident). You must still consider whether to accept or progress any complaint that

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