Healey Primary School  

Healey Primary School > Complaints Procedure

HEALEY FOUNDATION PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

SCHOOL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

 
 
Overview (summarised)

From September 2003 Governing Bodies of all maintained schools are required, under Section 29 of the Education Act 2002, to have in place a procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school.  The law also requires the procedure to be published.

 

  1. General Principles

 

Initial concerns

Schools need to be clear about the difference between a concern and a complaint.  Taking informal complaints seriously at the earliest stage will reduce the numbers that develop into formal complaints.

 

The underlying principle is that concerns should be handled without the need for formal procedures.  The requirement to have a Complaints Procedure need not undermine efforts to resolve the concern informally.  In most cases the class teacher will receive the first approach.  It would be helpful if staff are able to resolve the issue on the spot, including apologising where necessary.

 

Formal procedures

These need to be invoked when initial attempts at resolution have failed, and the issue is to be taken further.

 

This school has nominated a member of the Senior Management Team to have responsibility for dealing with complaints.  This will usually be the Headteacher, unless the complaint has been made against them.

 

Framework

An effective Complaints Procedure will:

  • Encourage resolution by informal means.
  • Be easily accessible and publicised.
  • Be simple to understand and use.
  • Be impartial
  • Be non-adversarial
  • Allow swift handling with established time limits for action and keeping people informed
  • Ensure a full and fair investigation by an independent person where necessary
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Address all points raised and provide an effective and appropriate response.
  • Provide information to the Senior Management Team so services can be improved.

 Investigating complaints

The person investigating the complaint should:

  • Establish what and who
  • Clarify the nature of the complaint and what remains unresolved
  • Contact the complainant
  • Clarify what the complainant feels
  • Interview all involved (allowing them to be accompanied)
  • Conduct the interview with an open mind
  • Keep detailed notes

 

Resolving complaints

At each stage a complaint should try to be resolved, or upheld either in whole or in part.  It may be appropriate to:

  • Apologise.
  • Explain.
  • Admit the situation could have been handled differently.
  • Assure the incident will not recur.
  • Explain steps taken so far.
  • Undertake a review of school policy.

 

Complainants should be encouraged to state what actions could resolve the problem.  An admission the situation could have been handled differently is not an admission of negligence.

 

An effective procedure will identify areas of agreement.  A clarification of misunderstanding can create a positive atmosphere.

 

Vexatious complaints

If the complainant remains dissatisfied, and all procedures have been followed, the Chair of the Governing Body is able to inform them in writing that the procedures have been exhausted and that the matter is now closed.

 

Time–limits

Complaints need to be considered and resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. Each stage should have realistic time limits.  However, should the complaint persist, new time limits need to be set and the complainant sent details of the new deadlines with an explanation for the delay.

 

  1. Formal complaints procedure (see flowchart)

 

Stage 1:         Complaint heard by (another) staff member

Stage 2:         Complaint heard by Headteacher

Stage 3:         Complaint heard by Governing Body Complaints Panel

 

  

  1. Managing and recording complaints

 

Recording

A complaint may be made in person, by phone or in writing.  A complaint form is attached.  At the  end of the call / letter a brief note should be made to ensure that all parties have the same understanding of what has been discussed and agreed.

All records should be held centrally.

 

Governing Body review

The GB should monitor nature and level of all complaints.  Individuals should not be named.

The process of complaint resolution will contribute to school improvement and evaluation of school performance.

 

Publicising the procedure

There is a legal requirement for the Complaints Procedure to be publicised;

  • School prospectus
  • Information given to new parents
  • Information given to children
  • Home-school agreement
  • Bulletins and newsletters
  • A complaints leaflet
  • posters
  • School website

  

A detailed copy of the Complaints Procedure is available from the school office.

 

HEALEY FOUNDATION PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

COMPLAINT FORM

 
 
Please complete and return to…………………………………….who will acknowledge receipt and explain what action will be taken.
 

Your name   …………………………………………………………

 

Pupil’s name   ………………………………………………………

 

Your relationship to the pupil  ………………………………….

 

Address  …………………………………………………………….

 

                 ……………………………………………………………

 

Postcode   …………………………….

 

Phone No (Day)  ……………………….             Evening  …………………………

 

Please give details of your complaint

 

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What action, if any, have you already taken to try and resolve your complaint. Who did you speak to and what was the response?

 

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What actions do you feel might resolve the problem at this stage?

 

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Are you attaching any paperwork?  If so, please give details.

 

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Signature      ………………………………………………………

 

Date  ………………………………….

 

 

 

OFFICIAL USE

 

Date acknowledgement sent   ………………………….

 

By whom   ………………………………………………….

 

Complaint referred to  ……………………….…………………………

 

Date …………………………………

 

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