Last reviewed on 25 April 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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Find guidance on the procedure for convening a complaints panel, procedures for a hearing, and the role of the clerk and complaints panel chair.

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 body who’ll consider the complaint afresh. This makes sure that:

  • Decisions aren’t taken in isolation
  • There’s always a mechanism by 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 to prevent

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