Complaints about services for children and young people with SEN or disabilities

Compliments, complaints and comments are welcomed by all providers and should be used to improve and develop their services in the future.

Is the service provided by a school or college?

All schools and colleges must publish their own complaints policy. Please follow these policies if you have a complaint. The policy should explain how to escalate a complaint further if you remain dissatisfied.

If the school or college is in Merton, there is a link to their complaints policy or a summary of it on their entry in the SEN Local Offer.

Is the service provided by Merton Council?

The council welcomes all feedback on its services and aims to act quickly and efficiently to put things right if something goes wrong. We use feedback as part of our planning process to improve services and pass all compliments on to the people concerned and their managers.

Is the service commissioned or paid for by Merton Council?

Please contact the provider concerned in the first instance. Most providers are listed on our SEN Local Offer including a link directly to their website, a contact email, phone number and address.

If you have complained to the provider already and remain dissatisfied, please contact the referring service within the Council. They will try to resolve your problem and will ask for your agreement to share information about your complaint with the provider.

Other services

For all other services, please refer to the provider directly with any complaint. Merton Council is not responsible for the delivery of these services.

Please see the Merton Council's website disclaimer for more details of our responsibilities as regards the information provided about services in our SEN Local offer.    

How to Make a Formal Complaint about a Merton Council service

1. Informal Local Resolution

As described, wherever possible we will try to resolve a complaint informally and at the point of delivery of the service for children with SEN or disabilities. In the first instance, please contact the service area you are concerned about. Each service lists a contact email, address and phone number on the SEN Local Offer.

Some services offer independent dispute resolution services that you can access at the same time as, or as an alternative to, making a formal complaint.

2. Formal Complaints

If your complaint has not been successfully resolved by the service concerned, you may wish to escalate to a formal complaint through the Merton Complaints Policy.

The timescales that are followed are shown in the table below.


How soon do we respond?

Who prepares the response?

Who agrees the response?

Stage 1

20 working days

Service Team Member

Service Manager

Stage 2

25 working days

Merton Complaints Team with a Senior Service Team Member

Assistant Director or Director

Local Government Ombudsman

Decided by Local Government Ombudsman

Merton Complaints Team with the Service Manager

Chief Executive


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Page last reviewed: 04/10/2023

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