The Global Gateway website, with the exception of the registration systems and the Discussions facility, does not store or capture personal information, but merely logs the user’s IP address (Internet Protocol: standard allowing data to be transmitted between two devices) which is automatically recognised by the webserver. The Department’s site does not collect any information about you except that required for system administration of the website. In order to continuously improve the Department’s website, we use tracking technology which monitors user sessions via a Java applet which activates a session cookie. No information is stored on your computer and no personal data is obtained from this software. if you respond online to a consultation exercise your data will only be used to facilitate the analysis of responses. This privacy statement only covers this Department’s website at and subsequent subsites of that domain. Other websites linked to from the Department’s domain are not covered by this privacy statement. 

Making a complaint – Help us to put things right

The following procedure covers complaints which are about the services that the Department provides directly to the public (not complaints about related organisations, issues and decisions). These services generally involve providing relevant information and answering queries, but also include a number of specialist services. If you have a complaint about a particular Government policy, you would normally contact the Minister for that area of policy, or your local MP. The Department is committed to providing a quality service and achieving the highest standards of conduct (and has adopted these commitments as Departmental values). One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our customers. Therefore we aim to ensure that:

  • Making a complaint is as easy as possible;
  • We treat as a complaint any clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a response;
  • We treat it seriously whether it is made in person, by telephone, by letter, by fax, or by e-mail;
  • We deal with it promptly, politely and, where appropriate, informally (for example, by telephone);
  • We respond in the right way – for example,with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc;
  • We learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and publish information on complaints – for example, in our Departmental Report.

How do you make a complaint?

  • You can make a complaint in writing, by fax, by e-mail, by telephone or in person (by appointment please). If you are writing, faxing or e-mailing your complaint, please provide your telephone number if a response by telephone would be convenient. If you are e-mailing, please state if a reply by e-mail is required and, if not, please provide a full postal address.
  • If you know the part of the Department which is relevant to your complaint, or the name or title of an appropriate member of staff, please make your complaint direct to them (referring to this complaints procedure would be helpful).
  • If you do not have this information, please get in touch with the Department’s Public Enquiry Unit, which will give you the contact details for the most appropriate person.
  • We will reply within 15 working days from when we receive your complaint. If it is not possible to give you a full reply within this time – for instance, because a detailed investigation is required – we will give you an interim response, telling you what is being done to deal with your complaint, when you can expect the full reply and from whom.
  • That full reply will include details of who to contact next if you believe that your complaint has not been dealt with properly. This will normally be the appropriate senior Departmental official (a Divisional Manager).
  • If, following that second response, you are still not satisfied, you can ask for your complaint to be referred to David Normington, the Department’s Permanent Secretary.
  • You can, of course, ask your MP to request the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman) to review your complaint and how it has been handled. (If the Ombudsman is satisfied that your complaint has been dealt with fairly, he will close your case and, normally, we will not respond to further approaches about the matter.)

Complaints about related organisations and issues

Some Departmental programmes and services are delivered to the public through a range of other organisations. There are separate arrangements for complaints about individual schools, colleges, universities, Jobcentres, Learning & Skills Council’s etc. Brief details and relevant contacts are given below. There are many other organisations connected in some way with the Department – for example, non-departmental public bodies (contact details for these bodies are available from the Public Enquiry Unit), and their arrangements for dealing with complaints can vary. Schools Advice is given in the parent’s factsheet ‘What to do when things go wrong’ (PPY103). This is available on this website, from the Public Enquiry Unit, and from

Government OfficesGovernment Offices for the 10 English regions manage programmes for the Department for Education and Skills, as well as for the Departments of the Environment Food and Rural Areas, and for Trade and Industry. Each Government Office has a complaints procedure which is available on request. Your local telephone directory or Directory Enquiries will have contact details for your region’s Office.
Please note: A copy of this standard website procedure is available in large print format, in Braille and on audio cassette. It is also available in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Gujerati, Hindi, Chinese, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, and Welsh.