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20 June 2016

This page includes guidance for parents, carers, pupils and members of the public who have a concern about a school and wish to make a complaint.
Are you an adult or a child?

For adults

  • Try to talk to someone at the school first.  Many concerns can be resolved in this way and it helps to maintain a good relationship with the school.
  • If the informal approach doesn’t work, ask for a copy of the school’s complaints procedures and follow its guidance on how to express your concern.
  • If you’ve gone through each stage of the school’s complaints procedure and are still unhappy with the outcome, you can call us on 0345 603 2200.
Essex County Council has only a limited right to intervene but we will do what we can to point you in the right direction to get your complaint resolved. The aim is always to foster good relations between all parties.

Special schools

If your child attends a special school, please contact the Special educational needs helpline.

Special needs provision

If your concern is about an aspect of special needs provision, which might include information about relevant voluntary organisations and support groups in Essex, talk to our Parent Partnership team on their helpline: 01245 436036.


If your concern is about bullying or other behavioural issues, our Behaviour Support Service can offer advice.

Unsatisfactory responses

If you are not happy with the governing body’s response (with or without our assistance), you can contact the Secretary of State for Education at the following address:
The Secretary of State
Department for Education (DfE)
Castle View House
East Lane
Tel. 0870 000 2288
Fax. 01928 794248
Textphone/Minicom: 18001 0870 000 2288
It would be helpful if you could enclose a copy of any correspondence from Essex County Council, so the Secretary of State is aware that you have previously contacted us.

For children

If you have a problem with school, you should first discuss it with your form teacher. If this does not resolve the problem, you should talk with your parent or carer, who must follow the school’s complaints procedure.
If your complaint is to do with any type of bullying, your school must help you