Our Vision: At North Baddesley Infant School we are committed to valuing and nurturing each child as an individual who will achieve their best and develop an enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Our vision is for the children in our school to grow into responsible, caring and fulfilled adults who actively and positively contribute to the society in which they live. We are committed to raising standards, values and self esteem for all those involved with our school through cultivating a secure, yet exciting environment that is positive, supportive, stimulating and enriching.
In this way, we are happy, valued and achieving together.
Our policy for complaints supports this by:
- Welcoming suggestions for improving our work in school.
- Assuring parents and carers that, regardless of the nature of the complaint or suggestion, our support and respect for their child will not be affected in any way.
- Encouraging parents and carers to share their concern as soon as possible. It is difficult for us to investigate an incident or problem properly if it took place some time ago.
- Recognising that problems sometimes arise from misunderstandings which are easily addressed and that most concerns can be sorted out quickly by speaking with a child’s class teacher.
- Treating parents and carers with respect and support, thereby providing a good role model for our children.
- Encouraging parents and carers to treat the staff with respect and support, thereby providing a good role model for our children.
- Providing a clear procedure for complaints as required by Section 29 of the 2002 Education Act.
- Making every effort to resolve the problem at the informal stage.
- Endeavouring to find a way forward together which serves the best interest of both the school and your child.
- Invoking the formal complaints procedure when initial attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful and the person raising the concern remains dissatisfied and wishes to take the matter further.
- Ensuring our complaints procedure is easily accessible and publicised, simple to understand and use, impartial and non-adversarial.
- Allowing swift handling with established time-limits for action and keeping people informed of the progress.
- Ensuring a full and fair investigation by an independent person where necessary.
- Providing information to the school’s senior leadership team so that services can be improved.
Please note that for school admissions and exclusions and special needs, separate complaint and appeal procedures exist for these matters and appropriate information is available on request from the school.
The procedure to be followed in the event of a complaint being made is summarized in the following stages:
Stage 1: Informal Action
- Parents discuss concerns with the class teacher promptly. Most concerns and potential complaints can best be resolved through informal discussion with the headteacher or relevant member of staff.
- If the staff member is unable to deal immediately with the matter, a clear note is made, including complainant’s name, phone number and date, and the parent is contacted as soon as the matter has been investigated. The staff member may also consult the Headteacher at this stage.
- The staff member ensures that the parent is clear what action or monitoring of the situation has been agreed.
- If no satisfactory solution has been found, parents may wish to put their concerns in writing to the headteacher as a complaint. Parents should make it clear if they wish the matter to be dealt with as a complaint.
- If the original concern was about an action by the headteacher personally, and the parent has already discussed it at the informal stage, then they should put their complaint in writing to the chairman of governors (stage 2).
Stage 2: Referral to the Headteacher
- The Headteacher acknowledges the complaint, orally or in writing, within 3 working days of its receipt.
- The Headteacher investigates further, interviewing witnesses as appropriate.
- The Headteacher keeps written records of meetings, telephone conversations and other documentation.
- A meeting or telephone contact may need to be arranged with the complainant to clarify and supplement any information given.
- Once all relevant facts have been established, the Headteacher responds in writing. This will normally be within 10 school days of the letter of complaint, but the parent will be kept informed if, for example, more time is needed to complete the investigation.
- If the parent is not satisfied, they may contact the chair of governors. The chair's name, and how to contact them is available in the school prospectus of from the school office.
- If the complaint is against the Headteacher, the Stage 2 procedures are carried out by the Chair of the Governing Body. The chairperson will investigate the complaint and, in most cases, seek to resolve the matter through discussion with the parent and the headteacher. At the end of this stage the chair will provide the parent with a written response. This will normally be within 10 school days, but they will be kept informed if more time is needed.
Stage 3: Review by the Governing Body
The Chair acknowledges receipt of the written complaint, informing the complainant that the complaint is to be heard by a Panel of three members of the School’s Governing Body within 20 working days of the complaint being received, depending on the availability of all concerned. Complainants may be invited to speak to the panel at a meeting and be accompanied by a friend or representative.
- The Chair arranges for a Complaints Panel elected from three members of the Governing Body to investigate the complaint. The members should have no prior involvement with the complaint and should elect a Chair for the committee. All relevant documentation regarding the complaint should be given to the committee as soon as possible.
- The Chair of the Committee will write and inform all concerned of the date, time and place of the meeting at least 5 working days in advance.
- The notification to the complainant will also inform him/her of the right to be accompanied to the meeting by a friend and the right to submit further written evidence.
- It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Committee to ensure that the meeting is properly minuted.
- After the meeting, the Committee will consider the evidence and reach a decision, normally within 2 days of the hearing. The Committee will advise the parent and Headteacher of the outcome in writing. This will normally be within 10 school days of the meeting.
- For most complaints, the decision of the governors is the last step in the procedure.
Stage 4: Beyond the Governing Body
- For most complaints, complainants cannot take their appeal further than the governing body.
- The LEA cannot investigate school matters on a parent's behalf nor can it review how the school has dealt with a complaint. However, parents may wish to seek further advice from the LEA's Customer Relations and Complaints Adviser
- If a parent feels that the school has acted unreasonably or not followed the correct procedures, they can write to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
In addition, parents can appeal to the LEA if their complaint is about:
- the curriculum their child is taught
- religious education (in a voluntary controlled or community school)
- the way their child's school charges for extra things, such as school trips
- information provided by the LEA or their child's school.
The procedure for complaints about the national curriculum, religious education and related matters is available from the school or county education office, 01962 846572.
At each stage of complaint the school will:
- establish what has happened so far, and who has been involved.
- clarify the nature of the complaint and what remains unresolved.
- meet with the complainant or contact them (if unsure or further information is necessary).
- clarify what the complainant feels would put things right.
- interview those involved in the matter and/or those complained of, allowing them to be accompanied if they wish.
- conduct the interview with an open mind and be prepared to persist in the questioning.
- keep notes of the interview.
- identify areas of agreement between the parties.
- clarify any misunderstandings that might have occurred in order to create a positive atmosphere in which to discuss any outstanding issues.
Complaints against school staff
Please note, if a complaint amounts to or includes an allegation against a member of staff, this may need to be considered under the school's disciplinary procedure for employees, rather than the complaint procedure. Complainants will be advised if these procedures are to be used in dealing with their complaint.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
The school will review this policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.