Complaints Policy & Procedure
If you have a concern or complaint
We welcome suggestions for improving our work at Neston School and we would like you to tell us about any concern or complaint. We want to reassure you that no matter what you want to tell us, our support and respect for you and your child in the school will not be affected in any way. Please tell us of your concern as soon as possible. It becomes more difficult for us to investigate properly an incident or problem which happened some time ago.
Dealing with concerns and complaints informally
We hope we can resolve your problem informally. Most concerns can be sorted out quickly by speaking to your child's class teacher. We will try to make sure that we understand what you feel went wrong and will do our best to help put things right. Of course this does not mean that in every case you will be satisfied with our response, but it will help us all to understand the situation. It may also help to prevent a similar problem arising again.
Stage 1 – Formal complaint to the Headteacher
(or the Chair of Governors in certain circumstances)
If we are unable to resolve your complaint informally, you can arrange to discuss the matter with the Headteacher. If you wish you can take a friend or someone else with you. The Headteacher will conduct a full investigation of the complaint and may interview any members of staff or pupils involved. You may request to receive a written response to your complaint within 10 working days.
If your complaint is about an action or decision of the Headteacher or the Headteacher has been closely involved in trying to deal with the complaint informally, then you should instead refer the issue to the Chair of Governors in writing via the school office. In this situation the Chair of Governors, or another governor nominated by the Chair, will conduct the full investigation.
Stage 2 – Formal complaint appeal to Governors
If you remain unsatisfied with the school’s response then you should refer it to the Chair of Governors in writing via the school office within 5 weeks of receiving the written response at stage 1.
Your letter should describe your specific reasons for appealing the decision made at stage 1. These could include, for example:
perceived unfairness of the outcome reached at stage 1
new evidence that was not available at stage 1
perceived irregularities in the conduct of stage 1.
The Chair of Governors will arrange a meeting of the Governors Complaints Appeal Panel to hear your appeal within 20 working days of receiving your appeal letter. You will be notified of the meeting date at least 5 working days beforehand and may attend in person. Any documentation to be considered should be circulated at this time. During the meeting the Panel will conduct a review of the stage 1 investigation giving opportunity for you to explain your appeal, the Headteacher (or Chair of Governors) to explain the school’s response and the panel to ask questions. The record of the meeting will be taken as minutes by the clerk. You will receive a written response to your appeal within 15 working days.
The decision may confirm or reject the outcome being appealed, or refer the matter back to be re-investigated if substantial new evidence has come to light.
The decision made at the appeal hearing is the final stage of the procedure.
The complaints policy is intended to set out how the school will deal with general complaints. Parents should feel able to express their views in the full knowledge that they will be dealt with fairly.
The aims of this policy are to:
encourage parents and other members of the school community to express their views at the earliest opportunity through the appropriate channels
provide an effective way of raising a complaint
enable us to deal with complaints fairly, consistently and, where possible, quickly.
It does not form a substitute for staff disciplinary or capability procedures which may be carried out as the result of an incident. However it does provide a mechanism for reviewing whether an incident has been appropriately handled by the school.
This policy is not intended to cover those aspects of school life where the law sets specific complaints procedures i.e. admissions, exclusions, complaints about the delivery of the National Curriculum and the provision of collective worship and religious education.
Parents who are not satisfied with the Local Authority's decision about special needs assessments may appeal to the SEN Tribunal. Further details about these procedures are available in other documents.
Whether a complaint is made informally or formally, all parties should ensure details are only known to those involved in investigating the complaint. Parents should be assured that making a complaint will not adversely affect their child.