At John Fletcher of Madeley Primary School, we undertake to provide a friendly and safe environment in which pupils will be helped to achieve their full academic and social potential.
We recognise that things can sometimes go wrong and parents, carers and members of the public may need to raise concerns they have about the school. This policy sets out what should be done in these cases. There are special procedures for complaints regarding school admissions, exclusions and for complaints about religious education and religious worship, but all concerns about the school should first be raised informally - as set out below.
Our guiding principle is that we welcome feedback, even if the message may be uncomfortable for the school.
We believe that most matters of concern should be resolved informally and quickly. Please raise the matter with your child's teacher or make an appointment to come into school to talk with a senior member of staff. This will allow you to discuss the issues. It is possible that your concern might be resolved at this stage. This informal concern and any actions will be recorded using the school’s “Record of Complaint” pro-forma.
If you are not happy with the school's initial response you have the option of making a formal complaint; the school may also decide to refer your concern as a formal complaint.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal procedure then s/he may invoke the formal process. In the first instance the complainant will put in writing the nature of the complaint to the school complaints co-ordinator (the Deputy Headteacher). If the appointed complaints co-ordinator is the subject of the complaint, then the complaint should be addressed in a sealed envelope marked confidential to the Headteacher. The Headteacher will then appoint another appropriate person. If the subject of the complaint is the Headteacher the complaint should be addressed in a sealed envelope marked confidential the matter to the chair of governors.
Upon receipt of the complaint an investigation will be undertaken and the complainant be informed within 5 working days
(a) the outcome of the investigation or
(b) that further investigation is required which will take no longer than a further 5 working days.
If a complainant makes the first approach to a governor s/he should refer the complainant to the appropriate person and the school procedure. It is not appropriate at this stage for an individual governor to be involved in the process.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of Stage 1, s/he can require the Headteacher to review the case, which may involve a re-investigation. The Headteacher may delegate the information gathering process to another member of staff, but only s/he can make a decision on the action to be taken.
This process and a report back to the complainant on the outcome of the complaint will be completed within 5 working days.
If the complainant is still not satisfied with the outcome at the end of Stage 2, s/he may ask for the matter to be referred to the school’s governing body Complaints Appeal Panel.
Whilst the difficulty of getting panels of the Governing Body together is acknowledged this process, including communicating the outcome to the complainant, should not normally take longer than 15 working days.
It is not appropriate for the full governing body to be involved at this stage as it would compromise the impartiality of any panel set up for a disciplinary hearing. The governing body can give delegated powers to this panel, which may consist of three or five members. If any members of the governing body have been previously involved in the complaint, in particular the Headteacher or Chair of Governors, they cannot be a member of the panel. The panel can choose their own chair.
The panel can:
• Dismiss the complaint in whole or part
• Uphold the complaint in whole or part
• Decide on appropriate action to resolve the complaint
• Make recommendations to ensure that such, or similar problems do not occur again.
At each stage the person investigating the complaint should:
- Clarify the nature of the complaint.
- Establish what has happened and who has been involved.
- Meet with the complainant or contact them.
- Interview those involved in the matter allowing them to be accompanied if they wish by a trade union/professional association representative, workplace colleague or friend.
- Conduct the interview with an open mind and without bias.
- Ensure agreed notes are kept of the interview.
Any cause for concern regarding any aspect of school may be addressed using the same procedures as outlined for complaints or the “Speak Up” Policy from Telford and Wrekin may be followed – 01952 383115 may be used.
Date approved: 11 March 2015