Board complaints checklist

If you would like a paper copy, download the C4.1 Board complaints checklist from governance framework 2018.

Once a letter of complaint has been received, the board chair should ensure the following process is followed:


Ensure the process has been followed as outlined in the concerns and complaints procedure or is a genuine complaint against the principal or board.


Verify with the principal that any staff (or others) identified in the complaint are aware of the situation and that there has been discussion and attempts to reconcile.


If the complaint or action is employment related or has potential industrial relations implications, contact the NZSTA employment advisory and support centre. For all other complaints, contact the NZSTA governance advisory and support centre.


Alert the school’s insurance broker.


Acknowledge the letter of complaint within 7 days and advise the board process, or redirect the complainant to principal, syndicate leader or staff member as appropriate. Report to the board without names or detail at the next meeting.


Once confirmed as a complaint, forward it confidentially to all trustees for consideration.


Board request to principal to present full written report outlining all actions taken, advice received, meetings held and justified decisions made.


Board determines whether the above fully satisfies them of full and fair process. If so, the board supports the principal and advises the complainant.


If not satisfied, the board meets and discusses in committee, determines whether to formally meet the complainant and delegates responsibility to trustee(s) as deemed appropriate.


Board delegates meet with the complainant and discuss the complaint more fully, verifies, investigates and clarifies. Support persons should be confirmed as welcome to attend.


Board delegates report back to full board and recommend actions/decisions.


Board takes appropriate actions, records and formally minutes decisions.


Board advises complainant in writing of its provisional decisions and factors considered in reaching them, within 21 days of complaint receipt, unless otherwise agreed by all parties. Complainant is given opportunity to comment before the board’s final decision is reached and given.


Board endeavours to convene follow-up meeting within 1 month of step 9.

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© 2018 New Zealand School Trustees Association