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Concerned about your child's welfare at school?

A parents' guide on what to do if you have concerns about your child's welfare at school.

If you have concerns about your child's welfare at school or an incident that may have happened there, then you have a right to raise your concerns with your child's school.

This page explains where parents should go to share their concerns and what you need to do if you wish to make a formal complaint.

Who deals with complaints?

By law, each school governing body or board of trustees must have its own complaints procedure and is responsible for investigating and responding complaints about their school. Ask the school for a copy of it as it explains how the complaints process operates and how your complaint will be dealt with.

If your complaint relates to services run by the Local Authority such special educational needs or education welfare, you should contact the complaints officer.

Stage 1 - Get the full picture

Before reporting a matter as a complaint, it may be worth reviewing the incident or situation.

Your child might well be telling the truth, however their account of the situation may not give you the full picture of what happened.

To get a fuller picture, arrange an informal meeting with your child's class teacher.

Most concerns that parents have, can and should be discussed with the relevant teacher.

If you are worried about anything to do with your child's learning, the class teacher or head of year is the best person to ask.

Remember that teachers will mostly be in the classroom during the day, so you may need to make an appointment at the beginning or end of the day.

All staff will make every effort to resolve your problem informally. They will make sure that they understand what you feel went wrong, and they will explain their own actions to you. They will ask what you would like the school to do to put things right. This does not mean that in every case they will come round to your point of view but it will help both you and the school to understand both sides of the issue in question. It may also help to prevent a similar problem arising again.

Stage 2 - Not satisfied? Arrange to meet the head teacher

Most of the time, parents' concerns can be resolved at stage 1, but if the teacher wasn't able to help or you are not satisfied with the response given, you should approach the head teacher.

The school's office will be able to arrange a meeting or a telephone conversation with the head teacher. If this isn't possible, you may wish to make a written complaint to the head teacher.

Stage 3 - If you are still unhappy contact the governors/trustees

The problem will normally be solved by stage 2. However if you are still not satisfied, you may wish to approach the chair of the governing body/board of trustees to ask for the matter to be referred to the trustees/governors' complaints panel. The name of the chair and address can be obtained from the school office.

If the complaint concerns the head teacher, you may wish to go straight to this stage.

Further action

If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction:-

Academy schools -

  • write to Academies Central Unit (Academy Complaints), Education Funding Agency, Earlsdon Park, 53-55 Butts Road, Coventry, CV1 3BH
  • telephone the Department's Public Communications Unit on 0370 000 2288.

Or you may contact Ofsted:

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 24 Jul 2017 at 10:43