Complaints, Compliments and Freedom of Information

Aberdeenshire Council recognises the vital role that parents play in supporting their
child’s learning and is committed to fostering positive relationships with parents. No
matter how strong partnerships are, or how good our policies are, sometimes things
can still go wrong and there may be occasions where parents wish to express
unhappiness or dissatisfaction with council services, policies or staff behaviour.
When a complaint is made it must be handled in accordance with the Complaints
Handling Procedure which provides two opportunities to resolve issues internally. In
order to maintain positive relationships, it is usually better for all if parental concerns
or complaints can be resolved at school/ early years setting level as quickly as
If a concern or complaint cannot be resolved at frontline resolution (Stage 1) then it
will progress to Investigation (Stage 2) and a detailed investigation into the matter will
be carried out. Complaints that are complex, serious or high risk and require detailed,
lengthy investigation may be dealt with at the Investigation Stage from the outset.
Once the two internal stages of the Complaints Handling procedure have been
exhausted, the complainant must be directed to the Scottish Public Services
Ombudsman (SPSO) to carry out an independent external review of the process.
The SPSO is the final stage of the complaint procedure.
Once the SPSO reaches a decision they may contact the council with
recommendations for improvement and will provide dates by which the
recommendations must be implemented. The council is required to report back to the
SPSO and evidence that the required action has been taken.