Complaints about an Academy

An outline of the complaints procedure and the role of the EFA

All schools including Academies must have a procedure for dealing with complaints against the school made by parents of pupils at the school.

Complaints about the administration of the appeals process for admissions are dealt with by a separate procedure.

An academy’s procedure for handling complaints against the school must comply with the Education (Independent Schools Standards) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/1997.

The Regulations require that a school’s complaints procedure must include:

  1. Informal stage, eg through discussion with senior staff.
  2. Formal complaint stage when complaint made in writing.
  3. Hearing before panel appointed by proprietor made up of at least three people who were not directly involved in the matters that are subject to the complaint, one of whom must be independent of the management or running of the school.

Where an academy has considered a complaint in accordance with its policy, but the matter has not been resolved, the complainant may complain to the Education Funding Agency (EFA), and the EFA will consider the complaint in accordance with its complaints policy.

The EFA will normally only consider a complaint about an Academy after the Academy’s own complaints procedure has been exhausted.

The EFA will not consider a complaint:

  • Regarding examination results or curriculum where it would be more appropriate to take it up with the examining body or Ofqual.
  • A statement of SEN that should be dealt with by the SEN and disability tribunal.
  • That they consider vexatious or malicious.
  • Over 12 months old, usually.

The EFA acts on behalf of the Secretary of State.

The EFA cannot review or overturn decisions about complaints made by Academies. It can only investigate whether the Academy considered the complaint appropriately, and if it finds that an Academy did not, it can request the Academy to re-consider the complaint.

Complaints about an academy should be sent by email to

Or by post to:  Academies Central Unit (Academy Complaints), Education Funding Agency, Earlsdon Park, 53-55 Butts Road, Coventry, CV1 3BH

Complaints about the EFA or about how it has handled a complaint should, be sent marked “Complaint about EFA – Academies” to the same address.

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