School complaint management - exploring a new way forward

There’s greater opportunity than ever for parents, carers and guardians to voice any concerns they have relating to their child’s education and for their concerns to be heard and to be taken seriously. While most staff in schools and academies are conscious of their legal duties relating to complaints management, many are struggling to cope with such a significant increase in the volume of complaints they must manage.

25 November 2022
Mark Blois

The scale of demand and the work involved in handling complaints appropriately and effectively generates a significant overhead, which is often exacerbated when complainants involve Ofsted and the local authority, or on escalation to the Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Managing complaints efficiently

It is fundamental for us to understand and unpick the increased drive for the complaints that are being seen across schools and to understand the escalation in complaints from the perspective of parents. It is crucial that we strike a fair system where parents’ voices can be heard and their concerns addressed appropriately, and where schools also feel that the legal framework supports them to manage complaints effectively and efficiently.

With potential changes to the regulation of school and academy complaints being proposed in both the recent Schools Bill and Sir David Bell’s review of the ESFA earlier this year, now is a good time for parents and the schools and academies sector to reflect on what might be the optimal and most balanced way to address some of these challenges.

Management complaints round table

To this end, Browne Jacobson have decided to host and facilitate a ‘Management of School and Academy Complaints – understanding the challenges and exploring a new way forward’ roundtable. Confirmed attendees at this roundtable include invited representatives from Parentkind, National Governance Association (NGA), Confederation of School Trusts (CST), Association of School & College Leaders (ASCL) and executive and governance leaders from a range of national schools and trusts.

The roundtable discussion will be chaired by Browne Jacobson’s National Head of Education, Mark Blois. We look forward to sharing the findings, ideas and inspiration with you soon thereafter.


Author

Author

Mark Blois

Partner

mark.blois@brownejacobson.com

+44 (0)115 976 6087

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Can we help you? Contact Mark
Author

Alice Wheatley

Trainee Solicitor

alice.wheatley@brownejacobson.com

+44 (0)330 045 2882

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Can we help you? Contact Alice

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