- To underpin the school’s aims and objectives by giving due consideration to complaints.
- To ensure that all complaints are considered fully, fairly and confidentially, promptly, thoroughly and, in the first instance, on an informal basis.
- To ensure that there is an effective partnership between school, staff and parents.
- To ensure that all members of the school community can have their points of view heard.
In the absence of a resolution to the satisfaction of the complainant to issue a clear decision which will enable the complainant, the Headteacher or the Governing Body to consider how, if at all, the matter should be taken further.
The proposed example procedure for dealing with complaints about schools is based on five stages of increasing formality; the first three are based within a school, and it is hoped that most complaints are resolved within these. However, for those rare times when a complainant is not satisfied with the school’s response, stages four and five involve external bodies.
Stage One: Informal
Any member of staff or the Governing Body may be approached with a concern from a member of the school’s community. For many concerns at this stage, it is unclear whether a question is being asked, an opinion expressed, or a complaint made. However, following the checklist outlined below will ensure consistency and ensure that details are retained, should the complaint go to subsequent stages.
Stage Two: Headteacher’s Investigation
This stage can be reached if the class teacher has been unable to resolve the problem, or if the complaint is about a teacher. At this stage the complaint should be properly recorded, either in the form of a letter or on the complaints recording form. Assistance should be provided to any person who may have difficulties recording their complaint in writing.
Stage three: The School’s Governing Body
When the Governing Body Chair receives a complaint, efforts should be made to resolve this informally. The Chair is encouraged to seek the advice of the LEA, particularly the school’s Senior School Improvement Partner. If, however, this route is neither advisable, or is unsuccessful, the Chair should convene a meeting of the Governing Body Complaints Panel, or secure the services of the governing body clerk or substitute to carry through the procedures. If a complaints panel has not been established, the Gonvenor should arrange for a panel of three or five governors to consider the complaint.
Stage Four: Referral to Haringey Local Education Authority (LEA)
Though the LEA has a statutory obligation to deal with complaints against the curriculum, there will be rare times when there are other complaints about a school, which have exhausted the school’s internal procedures and must be considered by the LEA.
Stage Five: Beyond the LEA
Beyond the LEA, an unresolved complaint can be referred to the Secretary of State for Education, or the Local Government Ombudsman. The LEA must supply contact details and likely procedures for these if the complainant wishes to pursue their complaint further.
For more detailed information on our complaints policy please click here: