If you have been unable to resolve an issue concerning nursery, school or college with the staff there, you could make a complaint.

You may wish to complain about a nursery, school or college if, for example:

  • It is failing to put support in place for your child or young person’s special educational needs (SEN) when they don’t have an EHC plan.
  • Your child or young person is not being included in the activities of the school because of their SEN.
  • Your child or young person has been informally excluded – if they are sent home without following the correct procedures for an exclusion, or if school has put your child on an unlawful part-time timetable.

Please see the section on how your nursery, school or college should help for more information on what they should be doing.

If your child has an EHC plan but the provision set out in it is not being made, then you should normally take action against the local authority, rather than the school.

If you believe that the school are discriminating against your child as a result of their disability, you may wish to consider making a claim for disability discrimination.

In other cases, if the issue is urgent, the school’s complaints process would take too long to resolve it, and the school is a public body (like a maintained school or an academy), you may wish to take legal advice on the initial stages of a process called judicial review rather than formally complaining.

Complaining when the nursery/school/college is not using its best endeavours to secure special educational provision for a child with SEN (template letter 21)

Making a complaint about a nursery, school or college

Complaining to the Department for Education about a school or college

Complaining to Ofsted

Complaining to the Information Commissioner