Best Practice

Top 10 tips for... Dealing with difficult parental complaints

Every parent should have the right to raise a concern with their school, but headteachers are receiving more complaints than ever before. Suzanne O’Connell looks at the figures and offers some advice
Image: Adobe Stock

A survey of 1,144 school leaders carried out by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has found that 94% of school leaders experienced an increase in parental complaints over the past three years; 83% have seen an increase in “vexatious” complaints. 

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman expands on the survey findings in his recent article for Headteacher Update, setting out why he feels this is happening. Part of the issue seems to be parents taking complaints directly to the top or indeed making the same complaint a number of times using different avenues – school, Department for Education (DfE), Ofsted, local authority. Consequently, school leaders are spending more time dealing with these issues and the pressure is ratcheted up a notch.

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