You may wish to make a complaint about a local authority (“LA”) if they are failing in their duties – whether by failing to provide what they are legally required to provide, by causing significant delay, or by failing to comply with the law.

Check our model letters to see whether we have a template letter relating to the matter you’re complaining about.

The first step is always to follow the LA’s own complaints procedure. How to complain should be explained in your LA’s local offer; if the LA has not put its complaints policy on the website then ask for a copy of the complaints procedure from their offices. This should set out the time limit for replying to a complaint. It is advisable to send a copy of the complaint to the LA’s monitoring officer.

Complaints about any element of an LA’s educational provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (“SEND”) should be made to the Director of Children’s Services. Even if the complaint relates to a young person rather than a child, this is the relevant person to complain to about matters relating to SEND and education support. You can find out the contact details for the Director of Children’s Services of each LA here.

Always send a written complaint by email or recorded delivery, or ask for a receipt if delivered by hand, and make sure you keep a copy for your own records.

Depending on the nature of your complaint, the following pages may be helpful.

If your complaint is about a decision relating to home-to-school transport, you can check whether the child or young person should qualify in our transport section, and find out about appealing against that decision.