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DCSF consultation - a new way of handling parents complaints about school issues

23 July 2009

A new way of handling parents complaints about school issues

Browne Jacobson frequently advises schools on the management of parental complaints. All high quality organisations value feedback of all kinds, including complaints but when this consultation was published we raised a number of concerns on behalf of our clients. The proposals to improve the way parents complaints are handled are now included in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learners Bill which is progressing through parliament. It is proposed that the Local Government Ombudsman will be given the power to investigate complaints about schools that remain unresolved once they have exhausted a schools complaints procedure.

This will replace the Secretary of States power to investigate under Sections 496 and 497 of the Education Act 1996. It is proposed that subject to parliamentary approval, there will be a pilot exercise which will commence in Autumn 2009 and will inform national roll out. In the meantime, any schools that do not have a clear policy for handling complaints internally should create one as a matter of urgency. This should include establishing a thorough system of record-keeping of those initial complaints which may develop into something more, considering how to obtain mediation and ensuring that procedures of governors are fully documented.

Download the full consultation paper

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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