Child A was 8 when he was accused of stealing food from his boarding school kitchen. We asked the school why the boy was so hungry and whether other boys were also taking food on night-time raids.

Child B was bullied at her prep school, where Mum worked part-time and was reluctant to complain. We advised on alternatives for the girl’s education and she has now settled in happily at her local state primary school.

Child C was accused of sexually assaulting another boy. We advised the accused child’s parents on how best to protect their son and safeguard his ongoing education.

Child D hated her independent sixth form and left after only three days. The bursar demanded two whole terms’ fees. We advised the parents on whether it was best to fight the school or to ‘pay up and move on.

Child E was falling behind, because her primary school teacher could not cope. What rights do parents have when the state school lets them down like that? We helped the parents to a better education.

If you are fed up with your child's school and you want to complain, this is how to do it:

    1. Talk to your child's Class Teacher or Head of Year. They should be able to sort it out for you.

    2. Get a copy of the school's Complaints Policy. The school should always use it and the staff there will usually try to help you.

    3. Go and see the Head Teacher. Make an appointment, if necessary. You will usually find that the Head is a kind and helpful cove, willing to listen and always wanting to make your school a better place.

    4. Write a letter to the Chair of the School Governors. Mark your letter COMPLAINT. Tell them your story and say what you want them to do about it. Very often, your complaint will be heard by a small group of School Governors.

    5. If you are still not getting anywhere, the next stage is different at state schools and at independent schools: At an independent school, your options are limited, but you could try writing to the school's Inspectorate. This works particularly well if an inspection is already due and the inspectors are coming soon! Some independent schools have Ofsted Insepctions; others can use authorised private consortia. Many use the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

    6. If the Inspectors cannot or will not help, you can write to the (government) Department for Education, asking them to de-register the school and close it down. This level of complaint won't help your child, of course, and the best course of action, if you really find it unbearable, is often to move your child to a better school. Take some legal advice, though, about the consequences on next term's fees and the option of suing the school for breach of contract.

    7. See a solicitor. Find one who is a specialist in Education Law. Note that Nicholas Hancox Solicitors Ltd is NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW EDUCATION LAW MATTERS in 2019. We have no spare capacity.

    NB. If your complaint is about a refusal of admission or about a school exclusion, expulsion or suspension, you may have a right to 'appeal' instead of sending in a 'complaint'. It's a different process.