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Policies & procedures

Managing complaints

Use this guide to navigate each stage of the complaints process, from informal complaints to investigation and complaints panel hearings.


All schools/trusts must have a complaints procedure in place that covers how the school responds to different types of complaints. The complaints process is a conflict resolution mechanism designed to hear the views of stakeholders and, where necessary, take the appropriate action to better serve the needs of pupils and the wider community.

The complaints procedure sets out the timescales for managing complaints, how they are investigated and arrangements for panel hearings.

Our guide to managing complaints should be used alongside the procedure for your school/trust. It is intended to support staff, governors/trustees and governance professionals involved in the complaints process.

The guide is available for both maintained schools and academy trusts and covers:

  • informal complaints
  • investigating complaints
  • complaints panel hearings
  • convening a complaints panel
  • procedure for the hearing
  • an example hearing decision letter

A checklist to review your school/trust complaints procedure accompanies this guide.

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