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Comments, Complaints & Compliments

Hartlepool College of Further Education aims to provide high-quality services that meet the needs of all its clients. We want to make our services as efficient and effective as possible. To do this we need to know whether we’re getting it right and how we can improve services for you. 

  • · If you are not satisfied with a service, tell us why not and what we can do to improve things. 
  • · If we are doing things really well, we’d like to hear about that too. 
  • · And we’d be interested to hear any suggestions you have for making our service even better. 

We promise to listen carefully to what you have to say and respond promptly to your comments and complaints. Any information you provide will be treated confidentially. 

How do I make a complaint? 

Trying to sort it out 

First of all, talk to the staff who run the service you are concerned about. Contact the School/Division you have been dealing with or ring reception (01429 295111) and they will put you through to the right School/Division.   The person you contact will do all they can to sort out your problem as quickly as possible. You can complain for yourself or on behalf of someone who cannot complain for himself or herself. 

What if I’m still dissatisfied? 

Making a formal complaint 

If you are dissatisfied with how your complaint has been dealt with you can take it further by making a formal complaint. You can make a formal complaint in writing, by phone or in person, through Learner Services and telling a member of staff who will take down the details of your complaint. 

Who do I write to? 

You should make your complaint direct to the Director - Learner Services, Hartlepool College of Further Education, Stockton Street, Hartlepool TS24 7NT.   

What happens next? 

Your complaint will be investigated by the Director - Learner Services, who will write to you within five working days and let you know who is dealing with your complaint and how long it will take. We will aim to give you a full written answer to your complaint within 15 working days of making your formal complaint. If it is going to take us longer than 15 days, we will let you know when you can expect a reply. 

Can I take my complaint further? 

Review by the Principal 

If you are still dissatisfied with how your complaint has been handled, you can ask to have your complaint reviewed. If you ask for a review, the Principal will look at all the information connected with your complaint. He/she will decide whether or not your complaint should be considered by the Complaints Panel. The Complaints Panel will comprise the Principal, Director - Learner Services, a representative of the School/Division about which the complaint has been made, yourself and a friend, parent or supporter if you wish. If it is decided that a Complaints Panel should be held, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss why you are still dissatisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with. If you wish to have your complaint reviewed, you should write to the Director - Learner Services and ask for a review. 


We will make every effort to deal with your complaint to your satisfaction. If we are not able to do this, the College will appoint an adviser to make an independent investigation of your case, presently the College’s solicitor. However, this process does not usually begin until the College’s own complaints procedures have been completed. In the case of complaints relating to Higher Education students, the complaint may be referred to the awarding University at stage two of their complaints procedure and subsequently to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator if the complaint cannot be resolved by the University. 

It is always best to first of all contact the staff responsible for the service you are unhappy about. They will do their best to sort out your problem. 

Compliments and Comments

We’d also like to hear from you if you think we’re doing something very well or if you have any suggestions for ways of improving the services of Hartlepool College. Write to or phone the Director - Learner Services, to tell us what you think. The direct line is 01429 404142. 


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