How to make a complaint

Types of complaints

There are different ways to complain depending on whether your child:

Schools may not consider complaints about behaviour that happens outside the school’s hours or premises.

Make a complaint

Follow these steps in order. Only move on to the next step if your complaint is not resolved:

  1. follow the school’s complaints procedure - every school in England must have one. It is likely to be published on the school’s website and will take into account the guidance from the Department for Education
  2. complain in writing to the headteacher
  3. complain in writing to the school’s governing body
  4. complain in writing to the head of school improvement at London Borough of Bexley:
    Head of School Improvement
    London Borough of Bexley
    DA6 7AT
  5. Complain to the Department for Education(DfE)

For some types of complaint, you need to contact a different agency. It is recommended that you contact Bexley Council for advice before making contact with the agencies below:

Criminal behaviour - In an emergency always call 999. You should use this service to contact police in situations when you need an immediate response, for example if a crime is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. If, for any reason you do not want to report antisocial behaviour directly to the police, then report antisocial behaviour to Bexley Council.

Data protection - If you have a concern about the way an organisation is handling your personal information, then contact Bexley Council or take advice from the Information Commissioners’ Office.

Discrimination - Equality Advisory and Support Services:

Employment - Concerns regarding employment tribunals.

Exam malpractice or maladministration - If you are worried about the administration of National tests taken in Primary schools it is important to discuss this with your child’s headteacher. If you continue to be concerned you may seek advice from the moderation and monitoring team in Bexley Council, please email

For further information, the Standards and Testing Agency have guidance on their investigation procedures.

For concerns regarding examinations in secondary schools and colleges, please contact the head teacher or principal. For further information, Ofqual and the awarding body may be able to offer advice and guidance.

Quality of education or leadership - Concerns regarding leadership, management or governance should be discussed with the headteacher and if necessary with the chair of the governing body. You may discuss your concerns with the head of school improvement at Bexley Council.

Serious concerns can be raised with GOV.UK - Ofsted complaints.

Complaints about the whole school

You can complain to Ofsted if you think a school isn’t run properly and needs inspecting. They won’t look into problems with individual students, such as exclusions or not getting a place at the school.

You can only complain to Ofsted if you have already followed the school’s complaints procedure.

You should get a response within 30 working days. It will tell you if Ofsted will investigate or not, and why.

Academies and free schools

You can complain to Education Funding Agency (EFA) if:

  • there’s a problem with the school’s complaints procedure
  • the school is not following the terms of its funding agreement