Crawley Green Infant School
1.1 We strive to provide a good education for all our children. The Headteacher and staff work very hard to build positive relationships with all parents and carers. However, it is important that the school has procedures in place through which parents and carers can exercise their right to complain about aspects of the school’s policy or practice, if they have concerns which have not been resolved through the normal channels of communication. This policy sets out the procedures which the school follows in such cases.
1.2 If any parents or carers are unhappy with the education that their child is receiving, or have any concerns relating to the school, we encourage them to talk to the child's class teacher immediately. We always seek to resolve any concerns as quickly as possible, in the best interests of the child. In the vast majority of such cases, issues can be resolved to the satisfaction of parents and carers without recourse to formal procedures.
1.3 We deal with all formal complaints in accordance with procedures laid down by the Local Authority (LA). If the school itself, including the governing body, cannot resolve a complaint, those concerned can refer the matter to the LA.
1.4 All parents and carers have the right, as a last resort, to appeal to the Secretary of State for Education, if they still feel that their complaint has not been properly addressed. Parents may also contact Ofsted.
2.1 Our school aims to be fair, open and honest when dealing with any complaint. We give careful consideration to all complaints, and deal with them as swiftly as possible. We aim to resolve any complaint through dialogue and mutual understanding. In all cases, we put the interests of the child above all else. We provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed, and then resolved.
2.2 The aims of this policy are to:
3.1 If a parent is concerned about anything to do with the education that we are providing at our school, they should, in the first instance, discuss the matter with their child's class teacher. In our experience, most matters of concern can be resolved positively in this way. All teachers work very hard to ensure that each child is happy at school, and is making good progress; they naturally want to know if there is a problem, so that they can take action before it seriously affects the child's progress.
3.2 Where parents or carers feel that a situation has not been resolved through contact with the class teacher, or that their concern is of a sufficiently serious nature, they should make an appointment to discuss it with the Headteacher. The Headteacher considers any such complaint very seriously, and investigates each case thoroughly. Most complaints are normally resolved by this stage. The Headteacher should inform you of the school’s complaints procedure should you feel that things have not been resolved.
3.3 Members of the Governing Body who are approached informally by a parent or carer with a complaint about the school will always refer the parent back to the Headteacher or an appropriate member of the school staff. Only when such steps at stage 2 have been followed and the parent remains dissatisfied should the complaint be taken forward to the governing body. Should any parents or carers have a complaint about the Headteacher, which cannot be resolved through discussion with him/her, then it may be appropriate to contact the governing body directly.
3.4 Only if an informal complaint at stage 2 fails to resolve the matter should a formal complaint be made to the Chair of Governor’s). This must be made in writing, stating the nature of the complaint, and how the school has handled it so far. The parent should send this written complaint to the Chair of Governors. The Chair will acknowledge your complaint within 7 days.
3.5 The Chair of Governors or another nominated governor will investigate the issue to ensure that stage 1 and 2 of the process has been followed and that the school has responded properly to the complaint at the informal stage. The Chair may hold interviews with the Headteacher and possibly other members of staff. The Chair may also take advice on particular issues from the Local authority. The LEA’s governor support team should be informed that the governing body is dealing with a complaint at this level. The Chair will give send a substantive response within 20 school days. The letter should include details of the next stage of the procedure.
3.6 If you are still not satisfied after receiving the chair of governor’s report you can have your complaint referred to a complaints committee of the governing body. A written complaint should be sent to the clerk to the governors The committee will consider all written complaints within three weeks of receipt. It will arrange a meeting to discuss the complaint, and will invite the person making it to attend the meeting, so that s/he can explain the complaint in more detail. The school gives the complainant at least five days' notice of the meeting, and the opportunity to submit further information in writing if they so wish. The parent or carer may take a friend, representative or interpreter with them to the meeting if they so wish.
3.7 After hearing the complaint and all the evidence, the governors’ panel may ask questions to clarify any issues. They will also hear from the Headteacher who will present the school’s position and will question him/her about this. The panel will then consider their decision and inform the parent about it in writing. The governors do all they can at this stage to resolve the complaint to the parent's satisfaction.
3.8 If you are dissatisfied with the Governing Body’s handling of the complaint, further recourse to other agencies is available to you outside the scope of the school’s own procedures. A letter may be sent to the Children and Learning Department with evidence that shows the school did not follow its complaints procedure. The Department will acknowledge the letter within 3 days and will inform the appropriate School Improvement Adviser that a complaint has been received. The School Improvement Adviser will investigate whether the school has dealt with the complaint according to its procedure and respond within 10 working days.
The Council can only investigate whether there has been a breach of procedure and is not able to re-investigate the original complaint. If the school did not follow its procedures correctly, the Governing Body will reinvestigate the complaint.
3.9 If the parent feels that the council have not carried out their duty or have acted unreasonably s/he is entitled to appeal to the Secretary of State for Education. If you feel that there has been a fault in the way your complaint has been handled you can take this to the Local Government Ombudsman. He can investigate the process. He cannot question the judgement of the original complaint.
Luton Borough Council, Children and Learning Department
2nd Floor, Town Hall Extension,
Upper George Street,
Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 546000
The Secretary of State for Education
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
The Local Government Ombudsman
21 Queen Anne’s Gate
London SW1H 9BU
4.1 The governors monitor the complaints procedure, in order to ensure that all complaints are handled properly. The Headteacher logs all complaints received by the school, and records how they were resolved.
4.2 Governors take into account any local or national decisions that affect the complaints process, and make any modifications necessary to this policy. This policy is made available to all parents and carers, so that they can be properly informed about the complaints process.
4.3 This policy will be reviewed every three years or sooner if necessary.