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School effectiveness

Complaints guidance and toolkit

Toolkit and complaints procedure

The Complaints Guidance and Toolkit for schools enables governors, trustees, senior leaders and clerks to ensure that they can deal with complaints and concerns with confidence.
The toolkit is in seven parts:

It is essential that schools do not just adopt the model policies as they are, but consider each section carefully to add their own context and details.

Mediation service for schools

Schools are encouraged to consider mediation at any stage of a complaints process. Further information can be obtained by emailing

Complaints against governors

This guidance jointly produced by the Exeter Diocese and the Governance Consultancy Team suggests how to handle the complaints process when the complaint relates to a governor. It may be an internal complaint, from a member of staff or another governor on the same board, or might be an external complaint from a third party.

Boards are recommended to have a code of conduct in place, which all governors agree to uphold. Governors hold a public office and as such should also uphold the Nolan Principles of Public Life, namely:

  • Selflessness.
  • Integrity.
  • Objectivity.
  • Accountability.
  • Openness.
  • Honesty.
  • Leadership.

The guidance suggests how the board can deal with and resolve a complaint involving a governor effectively, suggesting that a resolution to the issue should be sought at the least formal level in the first instance; complaints should be resolved as quickly as possible and the process of resolving a complaint should not be allowed to undermine the work of the governing board.

Where help and support is needed in managing a complaint against a governor, this could be sought from ourselves, the Diocese or another school governing board.