School and Academy complaints

The responsibility for dealing with complaints lies with the Governing Board/Trust for each school or academy. Section 29 of the Education Act 2002 requires all schools and academies to establish and publish a complaints procedure. The procedure must be accessible to parents and stakeholders; it must be published on the school / academy website and available on request.

If you wish to make a complaint regarding a school or academy, please follow the schools/academies published complaints procedure. This can be found on the school’s/academy’s website or by contacting the school office and requesting a copy.

The procedure should cover all types of complaints, including those against staff, the headteacher, governors and serial complaints. It must also set out clear timescales for the management of the complaint.

Once the school's complaints procedure has been exhausted, complainants have the right to appeal to the Department for Education (DfE) if they are not satisfied with the way the school has dealt with their complaint. However, the  DfE is only able to intervene in particular circumstances; specifically, where there has been a breach of a statutory duty or where the Governing Board/Trust has acted unreasonably with regard to the exercise of its power. They must be satisfied that a decision is unreasonable in the sense that no reasonable Governing Board/Trust acting with due regard to its statutory responsibilities would have reached that decision.

Complaints about academies

Due to their Trust status, the academy complaints procedure differs slightly from that of other schools. Academies are required to have a published procedure for dealing with complaints by parents or stakeholders, which must be made available on request.

If parents or stakeholders are not satisfied a complaint has been dealt with appropriately by an academy, they should contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Further information

Contact Us

School Governance Team

0300 123 5036

Useful information and guidance may be found via the links below:

Cheshire East Consultation Service

Cheshire East Information, Advice and Support Team

School Admissions

School Attendance and Children Out of School

School suspensions and permanent exclusions

Special Educational Needs

Page last reviewed: 01 May 2024