Raising concerns

In this section, we’ll cover how to how to raise a concern or a complaint confidently.

According to government guidelines: A concern’ may be defined as an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought’. A complaint may be generally defined as an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’. 


Almost all issues between parents and school are dealt with informally, simply by parents talking through their concerns with teachers or relevant school staff. 

To begin with, approach a relevant member of staff, explain your concern to them, suggest any action you would like to happen and see if they are willing to work with you to find a solution. 

The member of staff will usually be less senior than the head teacher or principal, at this point. Although this is not to say you won’t use these people as an escalation point.

The exact process may vary from school to school, and informal complaints may or may not be logged by the school.


For more serious breaches of trust, it may unfortunately be necessary for parents to raise a formal complaint. This should be viewed as a last resort, and it should also be understood that a formal process is likely to take longer to resolve, so it is best to exhaust all other options in seeking an amicable solution first.

Overall it’s important to keep lines of communication open with school and be confident in seeking their involvement in resolving concerns. Remaining objective and seeking out the other side of the story by hearing the school’s point of view is the best approach to take. It’s best to gather all the facts before jumping straight in with what you might later realise is an overreaction.

If you want to give general feedback about your school to Ofsted, either positive or negative, you can do this using their Parent View service.