Children's Services

Complaints, comments and compliments

The Children’s Services Department is committed to providing the best possible services to children and young people living in Hampshire. You can help us to continue to improve and develop our services by telling us what you think. We value your comments and will ensure that any complaints are dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible.

If you would like to make a complaint, or would like more information, please contact the Children's Services Complaints team.

What can be complained about?

Because of the laws governing services for children, the way you raise a concern or make a complaint depends on what it is about.

Child protection

If you believe a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm you should not delay and contact 0300 555 1384

Complaints by children and young people

We will always accept a complaint made to us directly by a child or young person. If you are a child or young person who wants to make a complaint, click on the link:

Complaints about school

Schools have responsibility for most of the services they provide. In most cases, Hampshire County Council has no power to intervene. You should complain directly to the school, using the school's complaints procedure, if you are concerned about areas including:

  • your child's academic progress;
  • special educational needs provision;
  • your child's welfare at school;
  • bullying;
  • the running of the school and management of the school budget;
  • school policies (including uniforms, rules, meals and time off school);
  • the community's use of school facilities;
  • external services run by the school, e.g. adult learning or after-school clubs;
  • the behaviour of staff or pupils outside the school.

The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) has some useful information on their website

Services provided by the Children's Services Department

Although Children’s Services is one department, the nature of the concern or complaint will determine which process it needs to follow.


Social Care

How to complain about education services from the Children's Services Department

How to complain about education services

How to complain about social care services from the Children's Services Department

How to complain about social care service

Sure Start Children's Centres

If you are unhappy about services provided by any of the Children’s Centres in Hampshire, please speak to a member of staff or manager in the first instance. Children’s Centres have their own complaints process which they follow. Any member of staff will be able to provide you with a copy of their centre’s procedures.

Childcare and early years education (nurseries, preschools etc.)

If you have a concern or complaint about a childminder, creche, nursery or pre-school, you should contact OFSTED, (the Office for Standards in Education). This is the body responsible for inspecting and regulating childcare and pre-school education. Before contacting OFSTED you may wish to discuss your concerns with the Services for Young Children.

Other complaints

If your complaint is about another area of the Council, please see our Corporate Complaints guidance.

Children’s Services cannot accept complaints that are the responsibility of other organisations such as:

  • activity clubs (e.g. Brownies or Cubs)
  • sports clubs
  • charities

In this case you should make contact with the organisation responsible.


If you have a compliment you can let the member of staff know yourself or tell their manager. Alternatively you can send an email to They will make sure that your compliment is passed on to the appropriate people. Knowing when we get it right for you can help us to get it right for others too.