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NAHT secures extensive amendments to the revised school complaints guidance

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The Department has made some further revisions to the school complaints guidance, including providing greater clarity on dealing with duplicate complaints following feedback from NAHT. 

Under section 29 of the Education Act 2002, maintained schools have a duty to publish a procedure to deal with all complaints relating to the school and any community facilities and services they provide.

The Department has released revised best practice guidance for maintained schools in developing and managing a school complaints procedure.

The guidance is non-statutory and is intended to:

  • share and encourage best practice
  • help schools avoid common pitfalls

This update replaces the best practice guidance published in 2016 and is intended for use by school leaders, staff and governing bodies in all maintained schools and nurseries. The regulations pertaining to academies and non-maintained special schools have not been amended at this time.

Dealing with complaints is a key issue for our members and as such, NAHT has worked extremely closely with the Department to ensure that any revisions to the guidance works well for schools. NAHT secured a number of key alterations to the proposed updates; such that the final guidance reflects much of NAHT's own advice and model policies, which will now be updated in light of this update.

The guidance covers a range of areas including:

  • Who can make a compliant?
  • Complaint campaigns
  • Timeliness
  • Number of stages for the complaint procedure
  • Recording complaints
  • Managing serial and persistent complaints

Alongside the guidance, the Department has published non-statutory model policies, including one for managing serial and persistent complaints.

You can access the Department's best practice guidance for school complaints here and members can also see NAHT's advice on the new complaints procedures

First published 01 April 2019