Complaints procedure: raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted

02 Apr 2013 Ofsted

Ref: 130128

Raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted

This summary outlines the procedure for complaints about Ofsted's inspection and regulation activity and the work of our staff. It replaces the procedures previously outlined in HMI ref no 070080. For the current full procedure see below.

Ofsted anticipates that the great majority of its work will be carried out smoothly and without incident. However, we recognise that on occasion there may be a need to raise concerns about some aspect of our work or the conduct of our staff.

Raising concerns during an inspection

During an inspection those with concerns are strongly encouraged to raise issues with the lead inspector as soon as they arise, as this provides an opportunity for all parties to resolve the matter quickly. If a concern cannot be resolved immediately the person raising the concern should ask to speak with a manager to ensure that their concerns are considered and resolved promptly.

If a complainant feels unable to raise concerns directly with the lead inspector during the inspection, the complainant can contact the Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 4666.

Formal complaints

If concerns have not been resolved, a formal complaint can be raised to Ofsted.

Complaints should can be submitted to Ofsted within 10 working days of the incident of concern – in the case of concerns about inspections, this should be no more than 10 working days following publication of the report.

Complaints should normally be made in writing using the online form unless there are special circumstances.

Dealing with your complaint

When we receive your complaint we will contact you to discuss the issues you are complaining about and to establish if any, or all, aspects can be resolved quickly. We do not normally withhold publication of an inspection report or withdraw a published inspection report while we investigate complaints unless there are exceptional circumstances.

We will investigate and send you a written response which is informative and aims to answer the agreed main points of concern within 30 working days. 

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Annual Report 2012/13