- The school aims to be a caring, positive and supportive place where young people can learn and receive education in an appropriate manner.
- We want to listen to parents’ views about their children’s education and well-being at school.
- We will try to resolve parents’ concerns and complaints as informally and quickly as possible.
- We will take any complaints seriously and provide a thorough and appropriate response.
- No student will be penalised or intimidated as a result of his/her parent making a complaint.
- We aim to learn from any mistakes or weaknesses, in order to improve further the standards of education offered at the school.
- There is a set of clear and detailed procedures for handling complaints that is available to parents who wish to pursue a complaint beyond the initial informal stage. This is outlined in the Procedures of Dealing with School Based Complaints. (Hertfordshire County Council, May 2009). A copy of the procedures can be obtained from the school office.
- The school will ensure that all complaints are logged.
- The governing body as a whole will not discuss individual complaints, and any governor receiving such a complaint will direct the parent to the school’s complaints information for parents and procedures.
- The governing body will monitor and review the effectiveness of the policy and procedures annually by receiving a summary report of numbers and types of formal complaints together with outcomes. Individual details will not be included.
- Complaints or appeals relating to admissions, exclusions or Special Educational Needs provision will normally be handled by separate statutory mechanisms, and we will ensure that parents are informed of how such complaints can be pursued.
School Complaints Procedure
There are four stages available to parents seeking to address concerns or complaints relating to their child’s education at the school.
- In most cases the parent should approach the member of staff concerned, to discuss the matter informally.
- If the parent feels that the matter is not resolved or feels unable to discuss it with the staff member, he/she should then discuss it with the Headteacher or other designated senior member of staff.
- If the matter remains unresolved, or if the complaint is about the Headteacher, the parent should write to the Clerk to the Governors within 2 weeks to seek advice.
- If the matter still remains unresolved, the parent should write within 2 weeks to the Chair of Governors (or designated governor) care of the school, setting out the complaint and the attempts made to resolve it. The Chair (or designated governor) will then investigate the matter and respond to the parent in writing.
- If the parent remains dissatisfied, he/she should write to the Chair or Clerk to the governing body requesting that a panel of governors is convened to hear the complaint. The panel will make a definitive and final response on behalf of the school that is binding upon the Chair of governors and Headteacher.
Should this full procedure fail to lead to a resolution of the issues in the parent’s view, he/she can write to the Secretary of State for Education at the DfES. The only situation where the DfES is likely to become involved, however, is where the governing body is judged to have acted unreasonably or has failed to fulfil its statutory responsibilities. Internal school matters are not in the Secretary of State’s remit.
The Local Authority has no statutory power to intervene in such issues beyond giving advice or making recommendations. There is no right of appeal to the Director of Education or to Members of the Council. A final recourse for a parent might be to apply to the High Court for judicial review.