o This procedure for is intended to allow you to raise a concern or complaint relating to the school, or the services that it provides.
o An anonymous concern or complaint will not be investigated under this procedure, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
o To allow for a proper investigation, concerns or complaints should be brought to the attention of the school as soon as possible. In general, any matter raised more than 3 months after the event, being complained of, will not be considered.
Raising a concern or complaint
1) Informal Stage
It is normally appropriate to communicate directly with the member of staff concerned. This may be by letter, by telephone or in person by appointment. Many concerns can be resolved by simple clarification or the provision of information and it is anticipated that most complaints will be resolved by this informal stage.
In the case of serious concerns it may be appropriate to address them directly to the Head Teacher [or to the Chair of the local governing body, if the complaint is about the Head Teacher].
If you are uncertain about who to contact, please seek advice from the school office or the Clerk to the governing body.
2) Formal Stage
If your concern or complaint is not resolved at the informal stage you must put the complaint in writing and pass it to the Head Teacher, [or to the Clerk to the governing body, for the attention of the Chair, if the complaint is about the Head Teacher] who will be responsible for ensuring that it is investigated appropriately.
A Complaint Form is provided to assist you.
You should include details which might assist the investigation, such as names of potential witnesses, dates and times of events, and copies of relevant documents.
It is very important that you include a clear statement of the actions that you would like the school to take to resolve your concern. Without this, it is much more difficult to proceed.
Please pass the completed form, in a sealed envelope to the Head Teacher or to the Clerk to the governing body, as appropriate.
The Head Teacher [or Chair] may invite you to a meeting to clarify your concerns and to seek an informal resolution. If you accept that invitation, you may be accompanied by a friend, if you wish, to assist you in explaining the nature of your concerns.
It is possible that your complaint will be resolved through a meeting with the Head Teacher [or Chair]. If not arrangements will be made for the matter to be fully investigated, using the appropriate procedure. In any case you should learn in writing, usually within 5 days of the school receiving your formal complaint, of how the school intends to proceed. This notification should include an indication of the anticipated timescale.
Any investigation will begin as soon as possible and when it has been concluded, you will be informed in writing of its conclusion.
If you are not satisfied with the manner in which the process has been followed, you may request that the governing body reviews the process followed by the school in handling the complaint. Any such request must be made in writing to the clerk to the governing body, within 10 school days of receiving notice of the outcome, and include a statement specifying any perceived failures to follow the procedure. The procedure described below will be followed. A Review Request form is provided for your convenience.
Any review of the process followed by the school will be conducted by a panel of 3 members of the local governing body. This will usually take place within 10 school days of receipt of your request.
The review will normally be conducted through a consideration of written submissions, but reasonable requests to make oral representations should be considered sympathetically.
The panel will first receive written evidence from the complainant.
The panel will then invite representatives of the school [Usually the Head Teacher or the Chair of the governing body panel that has considered the matter], as appropriate, to make a response to the complaint.
The panel may also have access to the records kept of the process followed.
You, and the school representative[s], will be informed in writing of the outcome, usually within 5 school days of the panel meeting.
The matter will then be closed as far as the school is concerned.
If you believe that the Governing Body has acted illegally or arbitrarily in handling the complaint, then you may make representations to the Secretary of State for Education.
Click here to download the policy and complaint forms.
Our policy has been written using the non-statutory guidance document entitled ‘Best practice advice for school complaints procedures 2016’ published by the Department for Education (DFE).