Complaints Policy

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Rationale

  • To ensure that the management of complaints is effective, fair and understood by all parents.
  • To utilise complaints as a means of identifying opportunities to improve services.

Aims

To this end we will

  • Promote an understanding of our school and it’s mission
  • Listen to our pupils and parents
  • Accept complaints as a positive means of promoting parent/pupil satisfaction
  • Use complaints as a means to improve services, seek to resolve complaints
  • Have clear and published procedures for dealing with complaints
  • Keep complainants informed about progress as well as the eventual outcome
  • Monitor the pattern and frequency of complaints at senior management level.
  • Review the effectiveness of the complaints procedure.

Definitions

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, action or lack of action by the school or their staff affecting an individual or group.

A complaint is not :–

  • A request for service
  • A request for information of policy or practice
  • A matter for which there is a right of appeal within the LEA or to an independent body or a legal remedy.

An informal complaint is one which can be resolved locally and quickly, which does not require an in depth investigation and which generally does not require to be put in writing.

Formal complaint

A formal complaint is one which cannot be immediately resolved to parents’ satisfaction, and therefore requires an investigation and which is generally put in writing.

Anonymous complaints

It is extremely difficult for the school to deal with anonymous complaints and it therefore reserves the right to dismiss them.

Curriculum/collective worship – special procedures

Complaints about the curriculum of a school, collective worship or other related matters are dealt with by a special procedure in accordance with Section 23 of the Education Reform Act 1988. Special procedures are available for considering complaints about the way in which pupils’ special needs are met.

LEA: No power to direct a School

Under the Local Management of Schools arrangements, introduced by the Education Reform Act 1988, the LEA has no power to direct a school in relation to a complaint from a parent or pupil, unless there is a statutory basis for doing so. However, it may act as arbiter and advise a school where a complaint has not been resolved by the staff or governors. Any parent who is unsure of the procedures, or who feels that the complaint has not been considered properly by the school, may contact officers of the Education Department for further advice.

concern

Notes

  • All partners serving the school, governors and staff should seek to ensure that the parent with a concern/complaint approaches the appropriate person first.
  • Complaints should not, unless exceptional circumstances prevail, be made on another’s behalf.
  • Individual complaints should not be raised at a governors meeting unless raised previously with the head teacher.
  • The Head will be informed of all complaints where the ‘incident’ has been raised twice or the parent appears twice within one year and these will be logged as part of the school’s monitoring role.
formal_complaint

A complaint about the Head should go directly to the Chair of Governors if resolution with the Head has not been reached.

Additional Notes

Exceptions

Serious misadministration should be progressed immediately as a formal complaint. Where this could involve the Headteacher, the Chair of Governors should be the first person to approach.

Reference to the City Treasurer should be made by the Head and Chair of Governors in cases of allegations of financial irregularity.

External Review

If the complainant remains unhappy after the matter has been considered by the Governing Body, they will be informed of right of appeal to Diocesan authority, and if that fails to resolve the matter, to the Ombudsman.

Remedy

Where a complaint is found to be justified a remedy should be provided. A remedy needs to be appropriate to the complaint. In virtually all cases the remedy will be an apology. In some cases the remedy will be an improvement in service provided. In other cases, a change of procedure to prevent future difficulties for the complainant, or for stakeholders in general, may be the appropriate remedy.

Annual Review

Annually a brief report will be presented to the Governing Body, which will detail:

  • the number of complaints;
  • the subjects concerned;
  • the time taken to resolve complaints;
  • the assessment of complainant satisfaction;
  • changes brought about as a result of reviewing complaints.

This will be normally undertaken in the Summer Term for the previous year (April / March).

Approved by Governing Body Autumn 2013 Next review: Autumn 2016

This policy has the full ownership of staff and governors of St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School