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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park

Belfast
BT3 9JQ

nahtni@naht.org.uk
02890 776633 

NAHT NI responds to the consultation on creating complaints handling standards for the Northern Ireland public sector

NIPSO is consulting on the introduction of a statutory complaints procedure. We are highly concerned about the proposal put forward by NIPSO. We do not believe it is fit for purpose in the education setting.  It is our recommendation that an education-specific advisory complaints procedure should instead be instated. This must not be statutory so that schools have the flexibility of applying the most suitable process for their setting, with an emphasis on what will work best for the whole school-community relationship. We contend a revised procedure should be consulted upon, overseen and administered by the Department of Education and only upon its exhaustion should complaints be escalated to NIPSO. There should be clear guidance around what type of complaints should be escalated to NIPSO and what the parameters for such complaints would be. Please see our full response here.  This is a word document that you can easily copy to formulate your individual response.

The closing date for this consultation is 30 September. We would like to encourage members to respond to this consultation, we appreciate that it is an exceptionally busy time. We did contact NIPSO to ask for an extension given the importance of this consultation and the fact that schools are operating in a business-critical environment due to the pandemic but this request was unfortunately rejected.

Full details of the consultation and how to respond can be accessed here: https://nipso.org.uk/nipso/publications/complaints-handling-consultation/

The email address to respond with a written response is communications@nipso.org.uk

We would also advise members, when submitting their response, to seek a confirmation email of receipt.

If you have any further comments to add to our response, we would welcome these before 29 September.

First published 24 September 2021