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'Julie Taylor saved my life! As a Secondary School Headteacher in Dorset I was subject to a triad of complaints from a parent dubbed “the most vexatious person in the county” by the then Head of Children’s Services. Julie helped me to get a strategy to deal with the overwhelming number of communications which ultimately led to the communications stopping – a result that I could have only dreamt of whilst in the midst of this issue. Julie was always at the end of the phone and provided a listening and empathetic ear as well as practical support. That sense check and the professional care offered by Julie was incredibly important in helping me to deal with an exceptionally stressful situation. I have used her advice and strategies since in a different school to the same very good effect. As well as ‘emergency support’ Julie also helped me to craft a complaints policy which made the management of complaints so much better going forward, increasing transparency for both the School and the complainant. I cannot recommend Julie highly enough.
Headteacher, Ringwood School, Hampshire
'Even though I had many years of senior leadership behind me I had never had any training on dealing with complaints within the school. As a head I found myself increasingly in situations when parents would threaten to make a formal complaint, often, I felt, unfairly. This I found very stressful........ until I went on a course, run by Julie, that explained the rationale of the process clearly. I left that course empowered. I had the knowledge to deal with such situations and the confidence in a system that actually protected me- turning the complaint from personal to professional. I have since recommended the course to other heads, sent my senior staff on the course and think it should be part of the NPQH. I know too many heads that have really suffered due to vexatious complaints, or even just the continual threat of such. This course was a life changer for me. Thank you Julie.'
Headteacher St Joseph’s Primary School, Christchurch
From personal experience, I can promise you that the expertise and support that Julie Taylor can provide is second to none. It is all too easy as a school leader to slip into a mindset that thinks you can manage parental complaints on your own, and most of the time you can, but I lost four months of my professional life to such a complaint that emerged unannounced from the ether and threatened to drag me down - without Julie’s rational, calm and careful guidance I could well have seen myself off work with stress. In the end, through step by step and purposeful responses we were able, in partnership, slowly and meticulously to close down my complainant. I recognise even more now that I did not have the skillset, experience or distance to enable me to have dealt with that complaint successfully on my own. I would recommend Julie’s service as one of those ‘insurances’ that are essential to be able to call upon when needed. When the walls close in and you realise that you are dealing with a complaint that is taking your mind away from the important focus of just running a school, you will be glad that Julie is a part of your response team. I can’t speak highly enough of her skills in this area.
Principal, St James CE Primary Academy, Bournemouth
'Julie has offered exceptional support to both my Chair of Governors and myself when we have needed advice managing parental complaints. We have valued her calm and professional manner and benefited from her extensive experience and knowledge. We have been especially grateful for her prompt response and follow-up throughout, what is often, a stressful and unfamiliar process.'
Headteacher, Cranborne CE VA First School
About training workshops...
Expert advice and guidance’ * ‘Open and honest discussion’ * Clear advice’* 'Up to date professional advice’ * ‘Excellent presentation delivery and course materials very helpful advice and discussions given as appropriate’ * 'Handouts very helpful’ * 'Information on how to deal with unreasonable complainants’
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