Open academies and free schools are required to handle complaints about them in accordance with the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014. As is the case with maintained schools, complainants are expected to exhaust fully the academy’s complaints procedure before approaching the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
The EFA is responsible for reviewing complaints about whether an academy or free school:
has a complaints procedure in place that complies with the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014;
handled the complaint about it in line with its own, compliant, procedure;
breached its Funding Agreement in any other way.
From April 2013 to May 2015 the EFA received 3,656 complaints about academies and free schools. 3,512 (96%) of these were not in scope for the EFA to consider. In these cases the EFA will redirect complainants to the appropriate body as soon as possible. 144 (4%) of the complaints received were in scope of the EFA’s remit. 32 (22%) of the in scope complaints were upheld or partially upheld. The EFA does not hold comparable data for the period 2012-13 centrally.