How do I raise a grievance at my school?


You might have a concern at your school because of the way you have been treated. As an employee you have the right to raise a grievance in a legitimate way.

What can a grievance be about?

You cannot normally raise a grievance about any of your contractual terms and conditions of employment. However, if you feel there is evidence that they are being incorrectly applied to you, or you are being discriminated against in some way, then you may have a grievance.

For example, if you are being required to work longer hours than contracted, or a colleague is treating you unreasonably or harassing you, in terms of gender, race, or work performance. Other areas where grievances can arise are:

  • Health and safety
  • The working environment
  • New working practices
  • Organisational change

Read your school policy and procedures

All schools should have a written policy and procedure on the topic. There may also be details included in your employment contract. This will give you an idea of how to raise your grievance and what to expect.

How do I submit my grievance?

By submitting a written letter and statement detailing your grievance. You will need to keep all relevant documents and keep notes and possibly a diary. Record what happens quickly after each and every event. This will help you recall key events and provide you with solid evidence in support of your case.

We have published another article which includes details on what you can include in your grievance letter.

What should my grievance statement include?

Your written grievance should:

  • Summarise fairly your complaint or concern
  • Be concise
  • Be factual
  • Include dates and names if possible
  • Be bold and forthright but not threatening
  • Be unemotional
  • Include your preferred resolution or outcome

Informal stage and formal stage

Citizens Advice explains that grievance procedures usually contain informal and formal stages. The informal stage requires you to discuss your issue informally with your head of department or headteacher. This can often resolve the problem. However, if it does not then the next step will be to raise your concern in writing under the formal stage.

Your school’s procedure will tell you who to send it to, usually the headteacher or the chair of governors. They will then organise a formal meeting within a defined number of days, usually 5 or 10 days upon receipt of your formal submission.

Can I be accompanied at any grievance hearing?

Yes, you can be accompanied in the same way you can be at a disciplinary hearing.

Edapt has an article on how to request accompaniment at such hearings. You can also bring a colleague as long as that person is not involved in any aspect of the grievance.

Can I raise a grievance about being called to a disciplinary meeting?

No. However if you have concerns about the suitability or impartiality of the person chairing the meeting then you may submit a grievance, or if you consider that you have been given incomplete information.

The school may then suspend the disciplinary hearing whilst the matters of grievance are dealt with. Alternatively the school may decide that your grievance can be dealt with as part of the disciplinary process.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.