Complaints Procedure

 

Principle

Staff will respond to any concerns or complaints received in a sensitive and confidential manner.  A complaint should not be heard by the whole Governing Body at any time as this may compromise the ability of individual Governors to provide an independent overview required at the later stages of the procedure.  It would also restrict their eligibility to sit on any disciplinary panel that may result from a complaint.  If individual Governors are approached by parents regarding making a formal complaint, they should signpost the parent to the Head Teacher and the school complaint process.

 

Aims and Objectives

Our school aims to be fair, open and honest when dealing with any concern or complaint.  We give careful consideration to all concerns and complaints, and deal with them as swiftly as possible.  We will always aim to resolve matters through dialogue and mutual understanding, and, in all cases, we will put the interests of the child above all other issues.  

 

The Complaints Procedure

Four stages are in place at St Mary’s RC Primary School:-

Stage One:     Complaint heard by Class Teacher (Informal Stage)

Stage Two:     Complaint heard by the Head Teacher

Stage Three:   Complaint heard by Chair of Governors

Stage Four:     Complaint referred to Governing Body Complaint Appeal Panel

 

Stage One: Complaint Heard by Class Teacher

  • In the first instance, any concerns/complaint should be raised as soon as possible with the Class Teacher.  Most concerns are resolved in this way without the need to engage the formal process.
  • In some circumstances, a parent may feel that an interim step is more appropriate, and may wish to take the matter to a senior or pastoral member of staff at the school as an interim measure before taking it to the Head Teacher.

 

Stage Two: Complaint Heard by Head Teacher

  • Where the Class Teacher is unable to resolve matters informally, then the complaint should be submitted in writing to the Head Teacher.
  • The Head Teacher will acknowledge the complaint issues in writing, and may want to discuss any possible outcome that would resolve matters.
  • The Head Teacher will investigate the complaint, and may review any relevant documentation available, or speak to those involved as appropriate.
  • A written response detailing the outcome and any actions to be taken as a result of the complaint will be received by the complainant, usually within a maximum of 25 working days.

 

If the complaint is about the Head Teacher then it will be dealt with immediately at the second stage of the formal process.

If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the response from the Head Teacher, they can request that their complaint be progressed to the next stage of the complaint process.

 

Stage Three: Complaint Heard by Chair of Governors

  • The complainant will need to write to the Chair of Governors giving details of their complaint, and enclosing, where possible, a copy of the response to their complaint received from the Head Teacher.
  • The Chair of Governors will acknowledge receipt of the complaint usually in writing within 5 working days, and will arrange to meet if necessary to further discuss the complaint and try to find a satisfactory resolution.  Where appropriate, the Chair of Governors may make further enquiries and will write to confirm details of the outcome.

If the complaint is still not resolved then the complainant may request that the Chair of Governors arranges for a Governing Body Complaint Appeal Panel to hear their complaint.

 

Stage Four: Review by the Governing Body Complaint Appeal Panel

  • The Chair of Governors will arrange for a Governing Body Complaint Appeal Panel to be convened (usually within 20 working days of receipt of the request).
  • The Complaint Panel will be made up of Governing Body members who have had no prior involvement in the complaint.
  • The Chair will write to all parties informing of the date, time and venue of the panel at least 5 working days in advance.  The notification to the complainant should also inform him/her of the right to be accompanied to the meeting by a friend/relative and the right to submit further written evidence.
  • Information packs will be sent out to those attending at least 3 working days prior to the panel.
  • The Chair may invite any officers/witnesses to attend for part of the panel where this is felt to be appropriate.
  • It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that the meeting is properly conducted and, where required, minuted.
  • It may be possible for the panel to enable a resolution to be found that all parties can agree, or, if a resolution cannot be reached, it may only be possible for the panel to identify a constructive way forward.
  • Following the Panel meeting, the Chair will write to both the school and the complainant confirming the outcome (usually within 5 working days) and detailing any recommendations made by the panel members in respect of the complaint.

 

The Governing Body Complaint Appeal Panel is the final stage of the school based complaint procedure. Should parents/carers remain dissatisfied with the way that the school has responded to their complaint then they have the right to write to the Secretary of State for Education.

More information is available for Parents wishing to make a complaint about a school from the Department for Education and from Ofsted.

 

Monitoring and Review

The Governors monitor complaints to school at least annually in a full governing body meeting agenda item, in order to ensure that all complaints are handled properly.  The Head Teacher logs all formal complaints received by the school and records how they were resolved.  Governors take into account any local or national decisions that affect the complaints process, and make any modifications necessary to this policy.  This policy is made available to all parents, so that they can be properly informed about the complaints process.

When a complaint has been resolved, complainants will be given the opportunity to evaluate the complaints process using Appendix 2.

 

Oldham Council Complaints Procedure

 

Government Guidelines - Complaining about a School

 

Government Guidelines - Complaining about SEND Provision

 

File icon: pdf Complaints Policy March 2021.pdf [pdf 209KB] Click to download