We have a two stage complaints process. Anyone has the right to make a formal complaint if they are unhappy about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf. However, within education there are a few instances which cannot be dealt with under this process. These are:

  • a first request for a service or information
  • where a person has a legal right of appeal
  • where legal action is in progress.

At Stage 1, complaints about schools should be dealt with directly by the school concerned, we aim to provide a response in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If the parent or young person is unhappy with the response following the Stage 1 complaint then they might want to raise the complaint to Stage 2.

Stage 2 deals with complaints that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are  complex and require detailed investigation.

At Stage 2 we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
  • discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
  • give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

More information on the complaints process can be found on the council’s website at You can also contact the Feedback Team as below:

Customer Feedback Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House


EH41 3HA  

Tel:                              0131 653 5290


There are times when we are unable to handle complaints through the process above as there are some disagreements which the law says can be resolved in different ways. We anticipate that most disagreements to do with additional support needs would be covered by these other processes and these are described below.