Learning Pathway


Read time: 29 Minutes
Complaints_Pathway (1)

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What you'll learn

Feel prepared to handle a complaint and know where you’ll be involved. Be clear on what to expect from a complaints procedure, and avoid common pitfalls.

The pathway is suitable for all governors and trustees.

Read the articles below and then complete the assessment to test your understanding. If you feel confident in this topic already, you can skip straight to the assessment at any time.

Pathway overview

Dealing with complaints: a summary for boards (8 minutes)

This article will cover:

  • The requirements around complaints procedures
  • An overview of what the process looks like, including the make up of the panel
  • How to respond to complaints against different roles, or an anonymous complaint

Complaints procedures for governing boards (9 minutes)

This article will cover: 

  • A deeper look into complaints procedures for maintained schools and academies
  • The role of the panel, chair and clerk in the process
  • Advice on what to do during a panel

Handling persistent or aggressive complaints (7 minutes)

This article will cover:

  • How to identify a serial or persistent complaint 
  • What to do with an unreasonable complaint and when to stop responding
  • How to deal with different scenarios, such as duplicate or aggressive complaints

What not to do when you get a complaint (5 minutes)

This article will cover: 

  • What to do if you see complaints on social media
  • How to avoid breaching data protection principles
  • Advice around following policies, getting other people involved and seeking legal advice


Pass the short assessment to earn a certificate in this pathway.

Your certificate will automatically appear on your GovernorHub training record, where you can download it at any time.