School Complaints Procedure
Schools aim to work in partnership with parents and maintain open and positive relationships. From time to time a parent or member of the public may express concern or make a complaint about some aspects of the conduction/operation of a school, the conduct of a Headteacher, a member of staff, the Governing Body or an individual governor. Most of these concerns will be dealt with informally but schools have a procedure to ensure that any concern or complaint you may is properly investigated and, wherever possible, resolved.
What is a complaint?
A concern or complaint will be investigated if it is an expression of dissatisfaction about:
- the conduct/operation of a school
- the conduct, actions or lack of action by a member of staff, the Governing Body or an individual governor
- an unacceptable delay in dealing with a matter
- the unreasonable treatment of a pupil or other person.
How do I make a complaint?
A concern or complaint should be made in person, by telephone or in writing to the Headteacher at school. If the complaint is about the Headteacher or a Governor it should be referred to the Chair of Governors of the school. A complaint made to a Governor, Local Authority Officer or Councillor, or the Education Department at County Hall will be referred to the Headteacher or Chair of Governors, as appropriate, for investigation. Anonymous complaints cannot be dealt with unless they are about very serious matters.
How are complaints investigated?
The aim of the Complaints Procedure is to resolve the matter as speedily as possible.
First the Headteacher will try to establish the facts and respond to your complaint. Most matters can usually be dealt with in this way. If this does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction, there is a further formal stage. You will be asked to put your complaint in writing and a further investigation will be undertaken by the Headteacher. In the case of a complaint about the Headteacher, or a Governor, the matter will be dealt with by the Chair of Governors.
What if I am still not satisfied?
You can appeal to a special Committee of the Governing Body of the school. You may, if you wish, have the opportunity to attend and put your case to the Committee. The Committee will inform you of their final decision.
Which matters are not covered by this Complaints Procedure?
Whilst all complaints should, in the first instance, be addressed to the Headteacher or, where appropriate the Chair of Governors, some complaints have to be handled differently because of legal requirements. These include:
- complaints about the provision of National Curriculum sex education or Collective Worship in an individual school.
- appeals against school admissions and pupil exclusion
- serious complaints relating to the abuse of children, criminal or financial matters.
How are complaints from parents of children with special educational needs handled?
Should a parent or carer have a concern about the special provision made for their child they should in the first instance discuss this with the class teacher. If the concern continues then the Inclusion manager and class teacher will arrange a further meeting with the parent/carer. If the concern cannot be satisfactorily dealt with at this stage it should be brought to the notice of the Headteacher. If the Head is unable to resolved the difficulty the parents concerns should be put in writing to the SEN Governor. The Chair of Governors will be involved after other avenues to resolve the situation have been exhausted.