We no longer deal with complaint relating to schools or school admissions. Guidance is provided by the Department for Education on the complaints procedure for schools and academies.

If you are unhappy with the way in which a school is acting, your first step should be to make your complaint directly to the school. If your complaint remains unresolved by teaching staff or the head teacher, the school will usually refer it to their governing body or trustees as part of their complaints process.

If you have already followed the school’s own complaints procedure or if there are reasons why you cannot use that procedure - for example, you feel your complaint has not been or will not be given a fair consideration due to a conflict of interest - you can forward your complaint to the Department for Education, using the online school complaints form.

Complaints about maintained schools

For the Secretary of State to intervene in a maintained school following a complaint, he needs to be sure either that:

  • the school has acted or is proposing to act unreasonably in the exercise or performance of its functions under certain legislation; or
  • the school has failed to discharge a duty at all under certain legislation.

Complaints about Free Schools and Academies

The Secretary of State will consider complaints similar to those made about maintained schools and may include where:

  • there has been undue delay, or the complaints procedure does not comply with statutory requirements, or has not been followed. For example, there is no independent member involved at the final stage of the complaint.
  • there is a breach of the funding agreement. For example, there is no religious education or requirements for provision of information are not being met.
  • a statutory duty has not been met, unless another organisation is better placed to investigate. For example, child protection matters would be for the local authority; exam malpractice would be for OFQUAL.

Complaints relating to special educational needs provision

Complaints that concern a child with special educational needs (SEN) will be handled by the specialist SEN team. As with other complaints, try first to resolve concerns locally by discussion with the class teacher and SENCO. If the concern remains, ask for a meeting with the head teacher, following the school’s complaints procedure.

If a complaint relates to the delivery of educational services specified on a statement of SEN, you would need to discuss this informally with Merton’s SEN service. If the concern remains, please follow our complaints procedure.

If you need any further guidance regarding the special educational needs provision contact childrensservicescomplaints@merton.gov.uk

Comments and compliments

If you wish to comment on, or compliment a school, please write directly to the school, or contact childrensservicescomplaints@merton.gov.uk.