Complaints Procedure

Reviewed: September 2016

1. Introduction

All schools in England are required, under Section 29 of the Education Act 2002, to have in place a procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school or services that the school provides.

 

2. Scope of this Complaints Procedure

This procedure covers all informal complaints/concerns and formal complaints other than those set out below.  It is for use by parents of pupils at the school or those who recently attended the school.  Consideration can be given to    complaints made by parents of pupils who no longer attend the school, provided the complaint is received within six months of the child ceasing attendance at the school.

Formal complaints in the following areas will be dealt with under the relevant procedures, some of which are statutory procedures.

  • Admissions to schools
  • Exclusion of pupils from school
  • Statutory assessments of special education needs
  • Complaints against individual members of staff in relation to their behaviour or competence, including the Headteacher
  • Matters likely to require a Child Protection Investigation
  • Complaints about services provided by other providers, such as contractors
  • Complaints about the curriculum, including religious education and collective worship

 

3. Principles when dealing with complaints

The complaints procedure is based on the following principles:

  • Confidentiality should be respected
  • Give and expect both courtesy and consideration
  • Communication is the key to solving disputes and disagreements
  • Concerns and complaints will be dealt with fairly and as speedily as possible
  • Complainants will be kept informed at every stage, whether it is an informal or formal complaint.

 

4. Anonymous Complaints

It will be left to the Headteacher’s discretion to decide whether the gravity of an anonymous complaint warrants its investigation.

 

5. Responsible Person or Complaints Co-ordinator

The Headteacher receives, records and monitors formal complaints.

 

6. Informal Concerns/Complaints

The majority of parental concerns/complaints can be resolved informally and speedily.  If you have a concern about what the school has done, or not done:

  •  raise the concern verbally with the teacher or Headteacher as soon as possible
  • explain the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of your concern

It may be that the teacher/Headteacher is unaware of the problem or there might have been a misunderstanding.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome and feel the matter cannot be resolved in an informal way, or if you feel so deeply about your concern that you wish to take the matter further, you have the opportunity to make a formal complaint.

 

7. Formal Complaints to the Headteacher – Stage One

Formal complaints must be in writing, either in a letter, email or on the form attached to this document. It should be made clear that it is a formal complaint.

Formal complaints should be addressed to the Headteacher.  If they are addressed to The School Board, via the school office, they will be passed to the Headteacher.

The Headteacher will record the date the complaint is received and will acknowledge in writing (or by email) receipt of the complaint      within 5 school days.

The Headteacher will investigate the complaint and respond to the complainant within 10 school days of the date of receipt of the complaint.

At this stage the outcome of the investigation by the Headteacher is final.

Note:  at any time during the course of the investigation the complainant can withdraw the complaint or ask for it to become an informal complain/concern. This must be done in writing by the complainant and will be acknowledged in writing by the Headteacher.

 

8. Formal Complaints to The School Board – Stage Two

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Headteacher’s investigation (Stage One) and feel strongly that you wish to take the matter further, you may make a formal complaint to The School Board. 

There is a separate procedure if the complaint is against the Headteacher him/herself.

The School Board will record the date the complaint is received and will   acknowledge in writing (or by email) receipt of the complaint within 5 school days. He/she will advise that a complaints panel of 3 members of The School Board, who have not had any previous involvement in the complaint, will be convened at a date and time convenient to all parties but within 15 school days of receipt of    the complaint. 

Parents are invited to attend the Board Hearing and may be accompanied if they wish.

The meeting will be clerked.

The Board’s complaints panel will take the following points into account, bearing in mind that each party will be given the opportunity to state their case and ask questions, and written material will be seen by all parties.

  •  the hearing will be as informal as possible.
  • witnesses are only required to attend for the part of the hearing in which they give their evidence.
  • after introductions, the complainant is invited to explain their complaint, and be followed by their witnesses.
  • the Headteacher may question both the complainant and the witnesses after each has spoken.
  • the Headteacher is then invited to explain the school’s actions and be followed by the school’s witnesses.
  • the complainant may question both the Headteacher and the witnesses after each has spoken.
  • the panel may ask questions at any point.
  • the complainant is then invited to sum up their complaint.
  • the Headteacher is then invited to sum up the school’s actions and response to the complaint.
  • both parties leave together while the panel decides on the issues.
  • the Chair explains that both parties will be written to within 7 school days of the hearing, setting out the panel’s decision(s).

The panel can:

  • dismiss the complaint in whole or in part;
  • uphold the complaint in whole or in part;
  • decide on the appropriate action to be taken to resolve the complaint;
  • recommend changes to the school’s systems, policies or procedures to ensure that problems of a similar nature do not recur.

The decision of the panel, is final and the matter closed.  A copy of the findings and recommendations will be provided to the complainant and where relevant the person(s) complained about. Any findings will be available for inspection on the school premises by the proprietor and Headteacher. The school’s complaints procedure at this stage will have been exhausted.

Note: the complainant may ask for his/her complaint to be withdrawn at any stage and this will be acknowledged in writing by the Chair of the complaints panel, whichever is appropriate.

Written records will be kept of all complaints, indicating at what stage of the procedure they were resolved. All records of complaints remain confidential.

 

9. Complaints received outside of term time

Complaints delivered to the school outside of term time will be deemed to have been received on the first day the school returns from its break.

 

10. There was a total of 0 complaints filed during the last school year 2015/2016