How to review your complaints procedures: checklist, model and examples

Use our checklist to review the procedure for your school or trust, and make sure it complies with the law and reflects best practice. Be clear on what questions you can ask, and take a look at our model procedure to see what good looks like.

Last reviewed on 18 January 2023See updates
Ref: 38473
Statutory/mandatory for:
Maintained schools
Free schools
Independent schools
Pupil referral units
Non-maintained special schools
  1. Key facts
  2. Key statutes, guidance and documents
  3. What this procedure needs to do 
  4. 2 key questions to challenge the procedure
  5. Use our checklist to scrutinise your school's procedure
  6. Model procedure from The Key 
  7. Examples from maintained schools

Key statutes, guidance and documents

What this procedure needs to do 

Your school's complaints procedure must allow for complaints from: 

  • Parents and carers of current pupils
  • Parents and carers of former pupils
  • Members of the public

In addition, your procedure must set out the steps to follow if the subject of the complaint is:

  • The headteacher
  • A member of the governing board
  • The entire governing board

Is simple to understand and use Is impartial Is non-adversarial Enables a full and fair investigation Respects confidentiality as needed Provides a full and effective response to complaints and appropriate remedies if the complaints are valid Provides information to the school’s senior management team so services can be improved Sets realistic and

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