Department of Education

Institute for Professional LearningFor School Leaders ‹ Leading a School Based Inquiry – Managing Complaints, Concerns and Feedback

Leading a School Based Inquiry – Managing Complaints, Concerns and Feedback

About the program

In this workshop you will learn how to effectively lead a school based inquiry, understanding feedback, concerns and complaints. You will be guided by Roz Berrigan and Sophie Zadeh who have many years’ experience in their subject fields.

Where there are human beings, there will be complaints. And as human beings, when we complain, we usually want to:

  • be heard and understood
  • be respected
  • be offered an explanation
  • achieve some change
  • be offered an apology; and want action as soon as possible.

The challenge is to see a complaint not as criticism, but as a way to reflect and improve what we do and how we do it.

Key focus areas will explore operational management and resolution of complaints at the local level. Through guided discussions and scenarios, the program will discuss the various approaches and how they should be handled to ensure a professional outcome.

You will learn how to choose the best communication tools to open/close communications. 


Learning intention

Managing a concern or complaint effectively is about following a clear process. At all times, staff handling these types of issues must maintain objectivity and treat the communication in a respectful and courteous manner.

This program aims to further develop the verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills required to confidently lead an effective school based inquiry in response to feedback, concerns and complaints.

Participants will learn about non-verbal cues that can reveal the true feelings of others. They will be able to indicate stress, discomfort, disagreement and highlight misalignment between words and behaviour.


Success criteria

By the end of the workshop, participants will have gained a deeper understanding of:

  • how to lead an ethical school based inquiry into a concern' allegation or complaint
  • the principles of and process for effective complaints management
  • how to manage confrontation and de-escalate conflict
  • how to read non-verbal communication cues in seeking truth
  • how to control your own non-verbal communication in managing confrontation and resolving conflict.


Who will benefit?

Principals, deputy/associate principals, year coordinators, team leaders, student services managers, head of learning area, head of program and program coordinators will all benefit from this workshop.


Participant expectations

There will be opportunities for self-reflection, group discussion, examination of scenarios and participation in activities to develop confidence in understanding in the process involved in leading a successful inquiry. You will also understand the importance of the type of communication style used to de-escalate a situation. 


About the facilitators

Roz Berrigan is an experienced school leader having worked with the Department of Education WA for twenty years. Most of this time has been spent as a deputy principal in the primary sector.

Roz has extensive experience leading inquiries in school settings and also recently worked in Central Office developing policy and guidelines to assist schools in this area, developing a resource to assist with its implementation. Roz has many real life scenarios to discuss and share with program participants.

She has been a mainstream classroom teacher in a variety of year levels, including country service and as a visiting teacher for Centre for Inclusive Schooling, supporting teachers of students with disability. Roz was a foundation member of the administration team responsible for opening Tapping Primary School in 2006.

Sophie Zadeh is a specialist in non-verbal communication. Driven by a passion to help people achieve their goals and with over twenty years of experience in training and presenting, Sophie Zadeh has worked with people of all ages and abilities, from all walks of life.

Working one to one, in small groups or presenting to large audiences at conventions, her diverse experience, combined with an inherent creative flair, enables her to engage her audience and deliver effective, insightful training and presentations.

Alignment to professional standards

Leading a School Based Inquiry - Managing Complaints, Concerns and Feedback is aligned with the following key professional practices from the Australian Professional Standards for Principals:

  • Leading teaching and learning
  • Developing self and others
  • Leading improvement and change
  • Leading the management of schools
  • Engaging and working with the community.

    One-day program


    8 November 2017


    Register now for
    Leading a School Based
    Inquiry: Managing Complaints,
    Concerns and Feedback

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Day Date Time
Wednesday 8 November 2017 8.30am - 4.00pm






Institute for Professional Learning   
Building B
164-194 Oxford Street

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On the day

  • Programs start at 8.30am. Tea and coffee are available from 7.45am.
  • Business dress is required.
  • Morning tea is provided.
  • Wifi connection is available.


The Institute for Professional Learning is located in Building B at 164-194 Oxford Street, Leederville WA. We co-locate with the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE).



Please note the Institute does not have on-site parking available:

  • The City of Vincent has a number of car parks throughout Leederville.
  • The closest long term paid parking is available on the south side of The Avenue Car Park on Leederville Parade.
  • Short term paid parking (two hour) is available in adjacent streets.
  • The City of Vincent offers a 'pay by phone' parking service.
  • The Institute is a two minute walk from Leederville train station.
  • Taxis service the site promptly.
  • Cycle racks are located outside Building F at the Institute.

Download the Institute map and parking information.

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How to enrol

Further information

Please contact the Institute for Professional Learning on 1300 610 801 or email


Leading a School Based Inquiry – Managing Complaints, Concerns and Feedback

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