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How to make a complaint about a school or services run by Hackney Education

Complaints about education settings (nurseries, early years providers, schools, colleges)

School governors (governing bodies) are required by law to have systems that deal with complaints about:

  • the school or education setting
  • provision of community facilities
  • services at the school

If you need to make a formal complaint about a school or any other education setting, you must follow the individual complaints policy for the setting you are complaining about.

  • Each school's complaints policies will be available on their website.
  • They are usually found in the “school policies” section.
  • If you prefer you can ask for a hard copy from the school or settings office.

Page last modified 24/08/2021

Ofsted Parent View feedback survey

The Ofsted Parent View is an online feedback survey. While it is not specifically designed to receive formal complaints about individual schools it does offer parents an opportunity to let Ofsted know what they think about their child’s school.

Your views might be about:

  • the quality of teaching
  • dealing with bullying
  • behaviour management
  • inclusion practices

Parent View is a survey that can be completed at any time.
You do not have to wait until the school is being inspected.

You can complete the Ofsted Parent View survey here.

What to think about before you make a complaint.

It is often better for everyone if matters can be sorted out in school with support if needed

Many complaints can be resolved informally by talking through the concerns you have with those involved.

This may feel awkward at first but involves all the relevant parties that may need to take action.

It is important to speak with someone at the school, either the class teacher or Headteacher, as soon as you have a concern. This provides an opportunity to address and resolve the problem early on.

You will need to be clear about what your concern and complaints are:

  • Is this having any effect on your child?
  • If this relates to an incident; when and where did the incident happen; who else was involved; did anyone see it happen; who was this reported to?
  • What do you think needs to happen to resolve your concern or complaint?

If you have tried to get the concern addressed directly and informally with school staff but are not satisfied, you have the option to make a formal complaint. You can raise a complaint with a member of school staff either:

  • in person
  • by telephone
  • in writing

The way to make a formal complaint may be slightly different in different schools but most will have a 2 stage process:

  • referral to the headteacher for investigation, and then
  • referral to the governing body

Find information about how to make a complaint about a school on Hackney Education website.

Complaints to do with education processes and schools…

Different types of complaints about education are dealt with in different ways.

There are special arrangements under The Education Act if you want to appeal or complain about:

  • admission to schools
  • School exclusions
  • re-organisation proposals for schools
  • special education provision
  • religious education and collective worship
  • national curriculum issues

If your complaint is about the school named in your child's EHC (Education Health and care) Plan or about Disability Discrimination you can formally complain through the SEND Tribunal process. Your case will be heard by an independent panel who all have extensive experience of SEND. 

Advice and support about school related complaints

School places and admission appeals

Officers in the Admissions and Pupil Benefits Teams can provide advice and guidance to schools and parents on complaints and related procedures.  

Admissions and Pupil Benefits Team

Phone 020 8820 7000


Education complaints for children and young people with SEND

If your concern is related to a child having special educational needs and or a disability (SEND) the school SENCo may be able to help.

For SEND specialist informal and formal disoute respolution and mediation you can contact: 

Parents and carers of children and young people with SEND can get specialist advice from nationally available services. All of these services offer helpline advice but you may need to book for phone advice. 

Complaints about Hackney Education run services but not a school

If your complaint is about a service provided by Hackney Education and you have not been able to address your concern by speaking to the person providing the service or a service manager you can make a formal complain using the Hackney Council - Complaints process

Safeguarding children and young people

Child protection

If a child is in immediate danger call the police on 999

Child Protection and Safeguarding advice is available to member of the public and staff in services from First Access & Screening Team (FAST).

Phone 0208 356 5500

Emergency out of hours duty team 0208 356 2710/2346

Any complaint brought to the Headteacher that suggests that a child has been at risk of; violence, emotional abuse, sexual interference, neglect, may be referred to Hackney Social Services. Social services in the local authority area the child lives in if they do not live in Hackney may also be notified.

If there is an investigation by social services it may delay or replace the school investigation. All agencies involved will work together for the benefit of the child or young person.

All referrals for assessments for Children's Social Care in Hackney go through Hackney First Access Screening Team (FAST). 

Phone 0208 356 5500

Allegations about staff

Safeguarding complaints about a member of staff working with children come to Hackney’s Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for further investigation.


Phone 020 8356 8982

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