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84% of school leaders are distracted by complaints from parents

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  • A new poll conducted by The Key uncovers the extent to which parental complaints absorb school leaders’ time         
  • The Key launches resource hub to help schools tackle common issues, from challenging behaviour on social media to consulting on RSE changes


Friday 15th November, 201984% of school leaders are distracted by complaints from parents about their school's approach, according to new poll findings released today by The Key

The poll, which gathered over 1,000 responses, found that more than half of respondents (57%) are distracted to a 'significant' or 'fairly high' extent, and just over a quarter (27%) to a ‘moderate extent’. Just 4% of the school leaders polled are not distracted by parental complaints at all.

Amy Cook, Head of Content at The Key, said: "We know that dealing with complaints from parents is a time-consuming and recurring issue for our members. Indeed, social media has increased the complexity, with schools handling criticisms both onsite and online.

Striking a balance between listening to parents' concerns, encouraging them to follow the school's complaints process, and enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to aggressive or inappropriate behaviour, is crucial - but easier said than done.”

To support school leaders with this challenging issue, The Key has launched a new resource hub - “Connect with parents and communicate with confidence”- which provides schools with up-to-the-minute checklists, model policies and best-practice examples of how to deal with common parent-related challenges.

This guidance will be of particular importance to schools over the coming year as they consult parents over their RSE policy, ahead of the September 2020 deadline.

Indeed, when asked in a separate poll how school leaders are engaging with parents about delivery of the new RSE curriculum, almost a quarter (24%) said they will be forming a working party with interested parents.  23% are holding information sessions for parents and 17% are surveying parents on their views (17%). Almost a fifth (17%) don’t know yet and 9% aren’t consulting with parents.

Resources in The Key’s new hub include an RSE consultation toolkit, an adaptable model parent code of conduct, guidelines for managing parent chat groups through class reps and a parent survey pack.

All the new resources are available to members of The Key for School Leaders, and a selection have been temporarily unlocked and are available to download for free here. 




Notes to editors:

For more information contact:

Georgie Brown, Communications Assistant 

[email protected] / 0203 907 8076

About our polls

We regularly poll the 12,000 schools in our network to find out how our members feel about pressing sector issues and to make sure our resources are delivering the support schools need.

For a full breakdown of the poll data, please get in touch with the PR team.

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