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Policies & procedures

Reviewing your complaints procedure

Use our checklist to make sure the procedure for your school or trust meets requirements and supports effective complaints resolution.


All schools and trusts must have a complaints procedure (sometimes known as a complaints policy) that meets requirements set out in DfE/ESFA guidance. The procedure should be published on the school/trust website (this is a requirement for maintained schools).

The governing board should have oversight of the procedure – it is recommended that boards review and approve the procedure annually (approval is often delegated to a committee).

Our checklist has been developed to help boards review the complaints procedure and ensure it is working as intended. Having an effective procedure in place will increase the likelihood of achieving a satisfactory outcome for all parties while minimising the time spent on dealing with complaints.

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

  • statutory guidance that must be complied with and helpful best practice guidance
  • essential elements of all complaints procedures
  • recommended elements to include
  • questions that governing boards can ask to ensure the procedure is working well

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