POLICY FOR COMPLAINTS

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POLICY FOR COMPLAINTS Powered By Docstoc
					SPRATTON CHURCH OF ENGLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL
COMPLAINTS POLICY

AIMS OF THE SCHOOL
It is the philosophy of Spratton Church of England Primary School to provide teaching and learning of the highest quality for each and
every child. This gives our pupils a measure of independence, a high level of self-confidence, a deep sense of self worth, and an
understanding and deeper appreciation of our Christian heritage. To achieve this philosophy we aim to:

             a)   Enable all children to achieve their full potential, academically, personally, socially, spiritually and morally.
             b)   Deliver the highest standard of education which is broad, relevant, challenging and appropriate to individual needs.
             c)   Promote high standards of behaviour, based on mutual trust and respect, developing responsibility and self-discipline.
             d)   Ensure equal opportunities for all.
             e)   Provide a stimulating and welcoming environment in which all feel safe, secure and happy.
             f)   Promote good citizenship enabling individuals to take a positive role in the wider community.
             g)   Become a focus for the local community through mutual sharing of resources and expertise.
             h)   Develop a pride in, and a sense of belonging to, Spratton Church of England Primary School.

To achieve these aims staff and governors will work in partnership with parents, carers and the local community for the benefit of our
pupils.

INTRODUCTION
This policy has been developed with reference to the Local Authority School Based Complaints Procedure, and outlines the procedure to
be used when a complaint is made to Spratton Church of England Primary School. The Governors of Spratton Church of England
Primary School have adopted the LA policy, which should be read in conjunction with the School's policy.

This policy provides a means for dealing with those rare occasions when complaints need to be made formal. It should not replace the
good practice established for responding to concerns and queries from pupils, parents and other users of the school. Many matters of
concern can be settled through early discussion with parents so that they better understand or feel reassured by what the School is doing.
Where parents feel they have grounds for complaint this procedure encourages the School and parents to resolve differences without the
need for formal complaint to the Governing Body.

Complaints are not always easy to define. It is important, therefore, to keep in mind the distinction between the handling of worries,
problems and complaints. However, in the event of confusion, it is for the complainant to decide whether or not their concern should
become a formal complaint, although this does not mean that those complained against are necessarily at fault.

Under this complaints procedure any member of School staff who is complained about will have the opportunity to respond to the
complaint during the investigation, and will be able to see any response sent to the complainant as a result of the investigation.
There is an entirely separate procedure for schools to follow in dealing with staff disciplinary matters. Therefore, if in the course of their
consideration of a complaint the Governing Body or LA conclude that disciplinary procedures should be initiated, they will take separate
action.

These procedures do not apply where an employee has a complaint about any aspect of their own employment. There is a separate
grievance procedure for these situations.

This policy outlines the procedure to be used when complaints are made concerning arrangements for National Curriculum and Collective
Worship, Special Educational Needs and General matters.


TIMESCALE
The School will deal with complaints quickly and efficiently so avoiding formal procedures wherever possible.
The Governing Body will deal with and respond fully to stage 2 formal complaints within 28 working days of the written complaint being
received. If this is not possible, parents will be informed of the reasons for the delay and kept informed of progress.

STAGE 1
The School will endeavour to resolve many concerns, or potential complaints, by offering full discussion with the appropriate member of
staff and this may involve the Headteacher. Governors approached by parents need to steer them in the direction of the School staff rather
than becoming involved in direct discussions. Governors must be aware that if they do become involved closely with complaints at stage
1 they cannot be involved at stage 2.

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If parents are not satisfied of the outcome at the end of stage 1, the School will ask them to set their complaint out in writing to the Chair
of Governors.

STAGE 2
    1.   On receipt of the written complaint, the Chair of Governors will acknowledge the complaint and provide the parent with the
         School’s Policy for School Based Complaints.
    2.   At this stage the Chair of Governors will inform the Governing Body that a complaint has been received, but will not divulge the
         facts.

    3.  The Chair of Governors (or another appointed member if the Chair has already been involved) will arrange for the complaint to
        be investigated. Three governors, who have not been involved at stage 1, will be elected to investigate the complaint, (the
        complaints panel).
    4. In the case of Special Educational Needs complaints and National Curriculum or Collective Worship complaints, the Chair of
        Governors will Inform the Head of the conciliation, Advice and Appeals Service (CAAS).
    5. The complaints panel will meet to establish the timetable for investigating the complaint and to establish the evidence they
        require. The panel should also agree a Chair person for the panel.
    6. The complaints panel will arrange to meet with the parent making the complaint. This is to offer the parent the opportunity to
        talk about the nature of the complaint and to provide them with details of how the school will conduct any further investigation.
        Any written information to be submitted by the parent should be gathered at this point.
    7. At the meeting parents may be accompanied by a friend, or representative who may speak on their behalf. This person can be an
        interpreter of their choice and parents will be encouraged to do this where this is necessary.
    8. The complaints panel will then meet with any member of staff named by the parents in the complaint to ascertain any evidence
        required for the investigation. Any written information to be submitted by the member of staff should be gathered at this point.
    9. The complaints panel will then decide whether or not they require any further documentation to establish the facts. This may
        include information from other witnesses or documentation held in School.
    10. The complaints panel will then convene a meeting, or hearing of the complaint, with all parties involved. Both parties involved
        can bring a representative with them to the hearing. The complaints panel will circulate any written documentation to all parties
        involved, at least 7 days before the hearing.
    11. The complaints panel will notify all parties, in writing, of the outcome of the hearing within 5 days.The report with findings and
        recommendations will also be published to the Governing Body which will not debate or question the findings but can accept,
        reject or reject in part the recommendations.
    12. A copy of the report will be sent to the LA's Chief Complaints Officer (CAAS) in the case of Special Educational Needs
        complaints, National Curriculum or Collective Worship complaints.
This completes the second stage.

STAGE 3
In most cases it is expected that parental complaints will be satisfactorily resolved following formal complaint to the governing body. If,
however, parents remain dissatisfied, the complaint proceeds to Stage 3.
    1. If the complaint is about the National Curriculum or Special Educational Needs parents can complain to the LA by writing to the
         Chief Complaints Officer, Conciliation, Advice and Appeals Service (CAAS). The CAAS will acknowledge receipt of the
         complaint and will notify the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher. The CAAS will arrange for the complaint to be
         investigated and will seek the comments of the Governing Body and any other information or advice as necessary.
    2. Following investigation, the complaint will be considered by a panel of the CAAS and three members of the LA.The
         complainant, or both complainants if the complaint is made by both parents of a pupil, may discuss their complaint with the
         investigating officer and may present their case personally to the panel. At any meeting, the complainant may be accompanied
         by a friend or representative who may speak on his or her behalf and also by an interpreter or his or her choice. A representative,
         or two representatives, of the Governing Body may make an oral presentation if the Governing Body wish.
    3. When the complaint has been fully investigated and considered the CAAS will notify the complainant of the outcome in writing.
         This will explain reasons, any action or proposed action to be taken and any further recourse available. A copy will be sent to the
         Clerk and Chair of Governors and the Headteacher.
This brings the third stage for complaints pertaining to National Curriculum, Special Educational Needs and Collective Worship to a
conclusion.

If the complaint is not about any of the above and is about general matters which are the responsibility of the Governing Body, there is no
right of further formal complaint to the LA. If both governors and parents feel that referral to CAAS or the Diocesan Officer might help
in arriving at a mutual understanding or agreement then advice can be taken.

TAKING COMPLAINTS FURTHER
Parents have the right to complain to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, under the Education Act 1996, if they believe
that a governing body or the LA is acting or proposing to act unreasonably (section 496), or is failing to carry out a statutory duty (section
497).
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The Secretary of State will then contact the LA or the Governing Body. This has to mean that the LA or the Governing Body is acting
outside its powers, or misusing them. Only then would the Secretary of State follow up the complaint.

CAAS
Parents can obtain advice from the CAAS by contacting: The Local Education Authority's Conciliation, Advice and Appeals Service
(CAAS), Education Department, John Dryden House, 8-10 The Lakes, Northampton NN.

RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS
The County Council will monitor formally National Curriculum, Collective Worship and Special Educational Needs complaints referred
to it under the third stage.

The Governing Body will formally record and monitor all stage 2 complaints.

The County Council will receive a report each year on third stage National Curriculum, Collective Worship and Special Educational
Needs complaints and will also receive a report on complaints about the National Curriculum and Collective Worship which have been
considered by schools at the second stage.


To be reviewed Summer 2011




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