Complaints procedures for governing boards

Find guidance on the procedure for convening a complaints panel, procedures for a hearing, and the role of the governance professional and complaints panel chair.

Last reviewed on 7 June 2024
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  1. Convene a panel 
  2. Define the remit
  3. Appoint 3 impartial governors
  4. Set the date and time
  5. The appeal meeting should be respectful 
  6. The chair makes sure procedure is followed
  7. Procedure for the meeting
  8. Conducting the interviews
  9. The governance professional is the panel’s point of contact
  10. Governance professionals: use our template letter to share the outcome 

This article is based on best practice guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and the DfE's model complaints policy. Make sure to check your own complaints procedure before taking any steps regarding appeals panels, as it may differ.

Convene a panel 

Schools are free to choose how many stages to include in complaints procedures. The DfE recommends that you have 2 stages, where the first is handled by the headteacher and the second is an appeal stage before the governing board.

At this stage, the complaint is heard by members of the governing board who will consider the complaint afresh. This is to make sure that:

  • Decisions aren’t taken in isolation
  • There’s always a stage in which decisions are considered independently

Define the remit

Uphold or dismiss the complaint, either in whole or in part Decide on how the complaint should be resolved (if upheld) Recommend changes to the school’s systems

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