Last reviewed on 18 January 2023
Statutory/mandatory for: Maintained schools Academies Free schools Independent schools Pupil referral units Non-maintained special schools

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.

Key statutes, guidance and documents

What this procedure needs to do 

Your complaints procedure must consist of at least 3 stages:

  1. Informal (usually a meeting with the complainant)
  2. Formal (the complaint is put in writing)
  3. A panel hearing

The procedure should also state that the panel won't be made up solely of trustees because they aren't independent of the management and running of the academy. 

Details of how you'll deal with complaints from people who aren't parents of current pupils. You may use the same procedure you use for complaints