Public complaints procedure - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Public complaints procedure

As an organisation operating a wide range of activities where we engage with the sector and the public, NSCD understands that on occasion people or organisations external to the school may be dissatisfied or concerned about the way the school, its staff or students have acted.

We seek to use feedback to improve the facilities and activities we offer, while always protecting legitimate academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Topics not covered by this procedure

Complaints from staff – please refer to the NSCD Staff Handbook here

Complaints from students – please refer to the Student Complaints policy here

Complaints from applicants for courses (from 2022 entry) – Please refer to the Admissions, Appeals and Complaints policy here

Data Protection, Freedom of Information, Environmental Information Regulations – please refer to the related policies and procedures here

Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech – Please refer to the related policy here


Our Concern Form is designed for anyone who engages with NSCD to provide us with feedback.

This form has been built by the Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) Committee, to provide a space for individuals to inform NSCD of any micro-aggressions they may experience, or any other feedback they wish to communicate. Micro-aggressions are subtle, often unintentional, forms of prejudice, for example an offhand comment, an inadvertently painful joke, or a pointed insult.

Find out more here.

Please note

Anonymous complaints

The school reserves the right not to investigate or take any action in relation to any complaints received anonymously or received on behalf of an anonymous complainant through a third party.

Frivolous, vexatious, defamatory, abusive and/or motivated by malice

The school reserves the right to decline to consider any complaints which are merely frivolous, vexatious, defamatory, abusive and/or motivated by malice, or to enter into continuing correspondence about such complaints.

How to make a complaint

Bearing in mind the limitations set out above, if you have cause for complaint about the activities or behaviour of the school, its staff or students, you are encouraged to first try and resolve the matter informally, in consultation with either the person who has caused the complaint, or (where relevant) with that person’s line manager, or with another appropriate person within the school where the complaint has arisen.

Initial contact and information can be gained by simply completing the contact us form online or by telephoning reception 0113 219 3000.

Should that approach not prove satisfactory, you should put your complaint in writing in the first instance to the Vice Principal, c/o NSCD, 98 Chapel town Road, Leeds, LS7 4BH.  This should include:

  • The background to the complaint, including dates and times of any particular incidents and the names of any people against whom you are complaining or who can provide evidence in support of your complaint.
  • Any specific issues which you want to be addressed.
  • What outcome(s) you hope to achieve from the complaints process.
  • Your name and contact information including where possible an address or email address (essential – see anonymous complaints).

Your complaint will then be allocated to the appropriate Senior Manager or other member of the Leadership team who will acknowledge receipt (and, if possible, arrange an initial response) within 7 working days.

In order for a complaint to be considered, it should be received within two calendar months after the date on which the event causing the complaint occurred. If the complaint is received any later, we will exercise discretion as to whether or not we will investigate the matter.

What happens next

A response will be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of your complaint. If the investigation cannot be completed in that time for good reason (such as staff unavailability due to leave) or the matter is complex, you will be advised of a revised timescale.

We will maintain confidentiality throughout the complaints process, revealing information to others only to the extent necessary to complete a proper investigation and make a considered response. You should be aware that in some cases, this may involve identifying you as the complainant.

If the complaint relates to the conduct of a student or a member of staff, this may be investigated under the relevant disciplinary procedure. In common with many other organisations and in line with data protection law, it is unlikely to be possible to provide details of the outcomes of any such disciplinary procedure to external parties. However, we are committed to learning broader lessons from such processes and will amend our policies and procedures in light of relevant findings.

What happens if you are not satisfied with our response

In the event that you still remain dissatisfied following receipt of our response, you may request that the matter be referred to the CEO & Principal for review. The CEO’s decision will be final; there is no appeal against their decision. In a case where the complaint relates to the CEO, this may be referred to the Clerk to Governors for a response.

Final responses will be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for review. If the review cannot be completed in that time for good reason (such as staff unavailability due to leave) or the matter is complex, you will be advised of a revised timescale.