Making a complaint

Complaints Policy and procedure

 

Introduction

St Giles aims to enjoy and develop good working relationships with all its parents, carers, pupils and members of the local community, based on mutual respect and a willingness to listen to the views of others and to respond constructively. We hope that we are able to deal with any concerns quickly and effectively to maintain good partnerships with all who work with us.

However, if you are not satisfied with the way a concern has been dealt with, this policy tells you what steps to take. We will take your complaint seriously and do our best to resolve the difficulty as best we can.

The school has an ethos of inclusion and respect for all and any concern or complaint will be handled with due regard to our Equalities Policy.


Complaint procedure

 

Stage 1. Informal

At St Giles School we aim to deal with all concerns and complaints in a positive and supportive manner.

Many concerns will be dealt with informally when you first make them known to the school. In most cases we would expect the class teacher or administrator to be the first point of contact, either by telephone or in person.

If the parent or carer wishes to meet with the teacher we respectfully ask them to make an appointment to discuss the situation.

This ensures that:

  1. We allocate sufficient time to listen carefully to your complaint
  2.  Lessons can start on time and are uninterrupted.

 

If for any reason the teacher is unable to meet with the parent, he/she will either

  1. Arrange an alternative appointment
  2. Ask another teacher to informally meet with the parent or carer

We prefer all concerns and complaints to be dealt with as quickly as possible and to everyone’s satisfaction. It is preferable for concerns to be handled without the need for formal procedures. We pride ourselves on honest and genuine relationships with children, parents and members of our wider school community.

However, we do appreciate that there may be times when more formal procedures are required and we will treat all complaints with respect and with good manners. In most cases we hope that the teacher or administrator will be the first contact and we will endeavour to resolve the concern as soon as is possible.

All complaints will be investigated with respect and integrity. Occasionally these discussions do not resolve your concern, and if you are still dissatisfied your next step is to make a formal complaint.


Stage 2. Complaint

If you are not satisfied that your concern has been dealt with you should make a formal complaint by writing to the headteacher and you will receive a written acknowledgement within 3 school days.

An investigation will be carried out and this may include a meeting with you to gather more information. You may bring a friend with you to support you. All information will be handled with discretion but it may have to be shared with others involved in the complaints procedure.

Within 20 school days the school will write to you with a full explanation of the decision and the reasons for it (decision letter). It will include what actions the school will take to resolve the issue and explain if additional time is needed to formulate a response. The Headteacher will ensure that you are clear about the actions and tell you what to do if you remain dissatisfied.

If a complaint is made against a member of staff or governor they will be informed and have the opportunity to respond. The complaint procedure is distinct from any formal disciplinary proceedings for staff. If a complaint did result in a disciplinary procedure, then the complaint would be put on hold and you will be advised of the delay and updated every 3 weeks.

If your complaint has gone through these two stages and you are still not happy with the outcome, the next stage is to make a formal complaint to the Governing Body. If your complaint is about the Headteacher you should write direct to the Chair of Governors.


Stage 3. Governing Body

If the matter cannot be resolved by the Headteacher you will be advised to write to the Governing Body within 10 days of receiving the decision letter from the school. You should enclose a copy of your written complaint, indicating which matters remain unresolved.  New complaints should not be included.  Letters should be sent to the school office for the attention of the Chair of Governors.

The Governing Body Complaints Panel (consisting of 3 governors not previously involved with the complaint) will meet to consider the complaint. They will let you know in writing when your complaint is to be considered. If a meeting with you and others involved is considered appropriate, you will be given 7 days notice. The Chair of the Complaints Panel will inform you and the Headteacher of their decision within 7 school days of their meeting.


Stage 4. Final complaint stage

If all attempts to resolve the complaint have been unsuccessful further representations may be made to the Secretary of State for Education at the Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1 3BT. For more information go to www.education.gov.uk


Monitoring and Review

The Headteacher will log all complaints and record how they are resolved. The Chair of Governors will monitor the complaints procedure and complaints log to ensure that all complaints are handled properly and report back to the Governing Body.

This policy is in line with the Croydon guide to parents – ‘Responding to your concerns in relation to schools.’ This guide is available on line at http://www.croydon.gov.uk/education/parentalsupport/complaints or from the school office.