I’m unhappy about what’s happening at my child’s school. Can you look at that?

We can take complaints about schools. You will need to complete the local complaints process first and it is also important that you know there are some restrictions on what we can look at.

We can take complaints from children who are old enough to understand the process and, if your child is over 12 years old, we will ask you to show you have their consent if you are taking the complaint forward on their behalf. Our complaint form includes a section that lets you do this easily. If you have any questions about this, please contact us.

In terms of restrictions our Act says that we can’t look at '… action concerning the giving of instruction, whether secular or religious, or conduct, curriculum or discipline.’ So we can’t look directly at what’s taught, how it’s taught, or how/if a child has been disciplined at school.

We can look at whether the school applied policies and procedures properly, such as those on bullying, or whether they have proper policies and procedures about something. We publish decisions of most of the complaints we’ve looked at and you can see and search for examples of what we do in the “our findings” section.

In some situations, we are not the only option and there may be other options better for you. If you bring a complaint to us and we think there is a more appropriate route for you, we will let you know and direct you to that option. For example, there are specific processes in place if you think that your child hasn’t been provided with appropriate additional support for learning. This includes difficulties with getting an assessment. If we think your complaint raises such concerns, we will direct you to those options. You can find more about the options around additional support by contacting Enquire http://enquire.org.uk/ (the Scottish advice centre for additional support for learning). There is also more information on the Scottish Government's website.

Updated: December 3, 2018