SEND and complaining to Ofsted

How to make a complaint to Ofsted, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills.

Ofsted is the body which inspects a range of public services including schools. Schools are inspected at least once every three years. Parents and carers have a legal right to complain to Ofsted on the work of maintained schools, academies, city technology colleges, maintained nursery schools and non-maintained special schools.

Ofsted could investigate complaints about:

  • the quality of education and standards achieved
  • inadequate provision for pupils with special educational needs
  • neglect of pupils' personal development and wellbeing
  • the quality of leadership and management, for example, whether the school spends its money well

Ofsted can call an immediate inspection of a school or educational institutions and programmes outside of higher education at short notice, if it feels your complaint is very serious. It can also call meetings with the school or other further education institution and the local authority.

You can only make complaints to Ofsted about issues that affect the whole school, not an individual.

Make a complaint to Ofsted