Best Practice

Parental complaints: How to respond and resolve problems

What is the best approach to handling written complaints from parents? What are the common mistakes that primary schools make during the complaints procedure? Nabil Dance provides a concise analysis and some practical tips on how we can respond effectively

The majority of my work as an educational lawyer consisted of advising parents who were involved in a complaint against their child’s school or local authority.

Most of these complaints had legal merit and it became a matter of proving that the school, or local authority, had broken the law. Experience of advising schools helped me to understand both sides of the table.

It was difficult not to notice certain patterns demonstrated by primary schools over the years with bad habits that undermined the school’s response and overall strategic position.

Many of these habits gave an advantage to the parental complaint and in some instances arguably damaged the child’s education.

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