Gosforth CE Primary School

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20th September 17
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Complaints Policy

1         Introduction

1.1      We believe that our school provides a good education for all our children, and that the head teacher and other staff work very hard to build positive relationships with all parents. However, the school is obliged to have procedures in place in case there are complaints by parents. The following policy sets out the procedure that the school follows in such cases.

1.2      If any parent is unhappy with the education that their child is receiving, or has any concern relating to the school, we encourage that person to talk to the child’s class teacher immediately.

1.3      We deal with all complaints in accordance with procedures set out by the LEA. If the school cannot resolve any complaint itself, those concerned can ask the LEA to intervene.

1.4      All parents have the right, as a last resort, to appeal to the Secretary of State for Education, if they still feel that their complaint has not been properly addressed.

2         Aims and objectives

2.1      Our school aims to be fair, open and honest when dealing with any complaint. We give careful consideration to all complaints and deal with them as swiftly as possible. We aim to resolve any complaint through dialogue and mutual understanding and, in all cases, we put the interests of the child above all other issues. We provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed, and then resolved.

3         The complaints process

3.1      If a parent is concerned about anything to do with the education that we are providing at our school, they should, in the first instance, discuss the matter with their child’s 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 is 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.

3.2      Where a parent feels that a situation has not been resolved through contact with the class teacher, or that their concern is of a sufficiently serious nature, they should make an appointment to discuss it with the head teacher. The head teacher considers any such complaint very seriously and investigates each case thoroughly. Most complaints are normally resolved at this stage.

3.3      Should a parent have a complaint about the head teacher, s/he should first make an informal approach to the chair of governors, who is obliged to investigate it. The governor in question 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, as outlined below.

3.4      Only if an informal complaint fails to resolve the matter should a formal complaint be made to the governing body. This complaint must be made in writing, stating the nature of the complaint and how the school has handled it so far. The parent should send this written complaint to the Chair of Governors.

3.5      The governing body must consider all written complaints within three weeks of receipt. It arranges a meeting to discuss the complaint, and invites the person making it to attend the meeting, so that s/he can explain their complaint in more detail. The school gives the complainant at least three days’ notice of the meeting.

3.6      After hearing all the evidence, the governors consider their decision and inform the parent about it in writing. The governors do all they can at this stage to resolve the complaint to the parent’s satisfaction. Please be aware that if your complaint alleges misconduct by a member of staff, any investigation by the school and subsequent formal action is protected by confidentiality. You will not know the outcome and the right of appeal will not apply.

3.7      If the complaint is not resolved, a parent may make representation to the LEA. Further information about this process is available from the school or from the LEA. A further meeting is chaired by an independent person, who considers all the evidence and makes a further judgement in an attempt to resolve the complaint.

3.8      If any parent is still not content that the complaint has been dealt with properly, then s/he is entitled to appeal to the Secretary of State for Education.

3.9      The school expects anyone who wishes to raise problems with the school to:

·         Treat all staff with courtesy and respect

·         Respect the needs of pupils and staff within their school

·         Recognise time constraints under which members of staff in schools work and allow the school a reasonable time to respond to your concern.

Whilst we recognise that some concerns may relate to serious and distressing incidents, we will not accept threatening or harassing behaviour. We will take steps supported by legal action appropriate to ensure that the school can continue its work safely and securely.

 

4         Monitoring and review

4.1      The governors monitor the complaints procedure, in order to ensure that all complaints are handled properly. The head teacher logs all complaints received by the school and records how they were resolved. Governors examine this log on an annual basis.

4.2      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.