Complaints Against Schools Solicitors
When difficulties arise with your child’s education, you are likely to talk to your child’s teacher and in many cases the cause for concern will be resolved promptly and with little anxiety. However, there may be occasions when the concern is not resolved and it becomes necessary to express yourself by making a formal complaint to the school.
All schools are required to have a formal process that allows parents and guardians to raise complaints. The complaint process should be clear and transparent. As a parent or guardian, you have a right to complain. This must be responded to by the school in writing and the complaint procedure of the school should be freely available to you.
We only act on behalf of children and young people. We do not represent schools and colleges. Therefore, you can be confident that we are committed to achieving the best outcome for you.
Never forget the child is at the centre of the complaint and therefore the focus should be on resolving the complaint at the earliest opportunity and on an amicable basis. It is important that your child can continue their education and life as normal as swiftly as possible.
Need an expert Education Lawyer?
Have a free call with one of our experts.Start now
At IBB Law, we assist many parents with school complaints. It is often the case that a complaint can be resolved amicably through some form of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and this is always preferable to having to resort to legal action.
If the issue remains unresolved, the issue can be escalated through complaint procedures all the way to the Secretary of State for Education.
Our in-house team at IBB Law are on hand to provide expertise, support and guidance for your complaint.
If you want to learn more about our services or if you have additional questions about your situation, please contact us directly to discuss your case in confidence. Arrange to speak to one of our specialist education law solicitors.
How to make a school complaint
Whether your child attends a state school or independent school, the school will have a complaints policy. This should be available online.
Our advice is that you make detailed notes in relation to your complaint before formalising it. Make sure your facts are clear and you have gathered together any documents which you consider are relevant to your complaint.
Set out your complaint to the school in chronological order identifying the sequence of events. This will make it easier for those considering your complaint to address it and respond. If at any stage there are conversations with others, make a note.
Complaints Against State Schools
The boards of all maintained schools, that is schools that are funded by a local authority, have a duty to establish procedures for dealing with complaints, with such a complaints procedure being published online.
Schools may have a general complaints policy and specific complaints policies to deal with particular areas, e.g. exclusion.
The complaints procedure should ensure that complaints are fully investigated and addresses on the points raised by the parents. If parents are not satisfied with the outcome they should be informed of their rights to escalate a complaint to the next level, stage 2.
Complaints should be resolved as efficiently and quickly as possible. Parents should be given realistic timeframes for when the matter will be dealt with.
Complaints Against Independent Schools
Paying for your child’s education is an investment in your child’s future. You will have expectations of what and how the school should support your child.
Independent schools should have a complaints policy that is in writing and available to parents. It should set out clear timescales for how a complaint will be managed, including for a complaint to the initially addressed on an informal basis to resolve the concern.
If the concern cannot be resolved, the matter will be escalated to the formal procedure. A formal procedure for a complaint against an independent school should include provision for a hearing where a panel will hear the complaint from the parents. The panel can make findings and recommendations, which should be recorded in writing.
Complaints against independent schools may range from disputes over fees, withdrawal of pupils, examination results, exclusion, standard of care and standard of accommodation, bullying or discrimination.
If the complaint cannot be resolved, you may have a claim for breach of contract. This will be a breach of the contract you entered with the school before your child started. The contract will contain all the terms and conditions relating to your child’s time at the school.
What is the cost of using a solicitor to make a complaint against a school?
We are able to offer a fixed fee initial consultation, by video.
Please note that we are only able to take on cases on a privately paying basis. If you are unable to privately fund your case, or you looking for general guidance on what actions you can take to protect you or your child’s education rights, you can contact Citizens Advice.
At the fixed fee initial consultation by video we will hear your account of events which have led you to either making a complaint to the school or thinking about doing so. We will consider any documents you have, perhaps your letter of complaint and an initial response from the school and provide you with advice as to your legal position and your rights. If at the end of the initial fixed fee consultation we believe you have legal grounds for pursuing the complaint further, we will advise you what action and what options are available to you.
We will also advise you the likely cost of pursuing your complaint and the work required to achieve your objectives. We endeavour to be clear with our advice and clear with our estimate as to the likely cost involved. We understand how important cost is and therefore, in some circumstances we are able to offer you a fixed fee for any additional work, giving you the comfort and peace of mind as to exactly what you will have to pay, whatever the outcome.
Get clear legal advice and support for dealing with school complaints
The information given here is intended for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.
If you want to know more about how we can help with your own legal queries relating to school complaints, please contact our education law senior legal administrator, Rachael on 01895 207230 or email on email@example.com Rachael will explain how we can help and then give you the opportunity to go online, to book an initial consultation meeting with one of our solicitors.