A complaint can be made by any parent (or person deemed to have parental responsibility) or pupil of a school. They can complain where they feel they have been caused an injustice as a result of an act or omission of a “prescribed function” of a Headteacher, or an act or omission of the Governing Body.
It is therefore in everyone’s interest that complaints about our school are resolved at the earliest possible stage. The experience of the first contact between the complainant and the school can be crucial in determining whether the complaint will escalate. To that end, the school must be clear about the procedures they will apply when they receive a complaint.
The school shall consider any complaint carefully and deal with it in a timely, fair and honest way. We give every opportunity for discussion about the complaint and aim to resolve it through open dialogue and mutual understanding and in all cases we put the interest of the child above all other issues. We provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed, and then resolved.
This procedure aims to: –
- Be easily accessible and publicised
- Be simple to use and understand
- Be unbiased
- Be non-adversarial
- Allow swift handling with fixed time-limits for action and keeping people informed of progress
- Ensure a full and fair investigation by an independent person where necessary
- Respect people’s wish for confidentiality, wherever possible (some information sharing may be necessary to carry out a thorough investigation)
- Address all points of issue, providing an effective response and proper redress, where necessary
- Provide information to the school’s senior management team so services can be improved.
Parents and pupils are encouraged to discuss their concerns informally in the first instance with their class teacher. Most matters of concern can be dealt with in this way. All teachers work very hard to ensure that each child is happy at school, and are making good progress; they always want to know if there is a problem, so that they can take action before the problem seriously affects the child’s progress. If they feel the matter has not been resolved through contact with the class teacher, or their concern is of a sufficiently serious nature, they should make an appointment to discuss it with the Headteacher. The Headteacher considers any such complaint very seriously and investigates each case thoroughly. If the matter is still unresolved to their satisfaction they have the right to raise a formal complaint with the school.
Should a parent have a complaint about the Headteacher s/he should first make an informal approach to the Chair of Governors, who is obliged to investigate it. S/he will do all s/he can to resolve the issue through a dialogue with the school but if a parent is unhappy with the outcome, s/he can make a formal complaint.