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Schools, colleges and universities are facing increased scrutiny to excel at customer service and handle a variety of complaints effectively.

To achieve this, staff must understand how to efficiently communicate and write credible, succinct and comprehensible responses to complainants.

On our Effective Written Responses to Complaints in Education course led by Communications Specialist, Sue Calthorpe, gain techniques to deliver effective written responses to complaints through a combination of expert tutor input, practical case studies and supported exercises.

Leave the day with practical written techniques and a clear plan in mind when replying to complaints.

trainer photo
Sue Calthorpe
Media & Communications Specialist

Susan works with organisations and individuals to improve their written communications skills.

She worked as a regional and national newspaper journalist before setting up a full-service communications company, now established for 30 years.

She works with public and private sector organisations to help with:

  • Effective emails
  • Report writing
  • Briefings and submissions
  • Persuasive and influential writing techniques
  • Promotional writing
  • Effective complaint handling
  • Communicating complex information for non-technical readers.

Her recent clients include Legal & General, HSBC, BRIT, the Law ...

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Learning Outcomes

  • Effectively assess and plan your reply
  • Create credible correspondence moving forward
  • Learn from best practice how to respond to a complaint
  • Develop practical written techniques to elicit information from colleagues
  • Understand what is working and what needs improvement in complaints letter writing
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


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09:00 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:45

Complaints in Education: What is Working and What Needs to Improve

  • Gain an overview of trends and insight into the most common complaints in education
  • Understand the effect complaints have on both staff and the people who depend on the service they provide
10:45 - 11:30

Best and Bad Practice

  • Assess a range of real-life correspondence
  • Identify best practice and receive expert advice regarding style, tone, vocabulary, presentation of facts and evidence
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 12:45

Assessing and Planning Your Reply

  • Develop planning tools to create a suitable reply
  • Identify ‘trigger’ points from correspondence to provide better responses
  • Understand how correspondents want their complaint handled and what they expect from the reply
12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:30

Summarising Detail

  • Ensure that your response is delivered efficiently
  • Introduce a six-part grid to help with this process
  • Learn how to summarise complex information into language and structure that can easily be understood
14:30 - 16:00

Creating Credible Correspondence

Create and give feedback on a range of letters to review and refresh personal skills

  • Develop your own best practice
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Utilise skills developed throughout the day to create letters
16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation and Close