Headteacher: Mrs J P Conley
Our ref: JPC/MK Your ref:
School Complaints Procedure
In this section, you will find information about our school’s complaints procedure, which complies with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002:
It also includes any arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) about the support the school provides.
The difference between a concern and a complaint
A concern may be defined as ‘an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought’.
A complaint may be defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’.
It is in everyone’s interest that concerns and complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. Many issues can be resolved informally, without the need to use the formal stages of the complaints procedure. At St Finbars Primary School, we take concerns seriously and will make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
If you have difficulty discussing a concern with a particular member of staff, we will respect your views. In these cases, please contact the Headteacher who will deal with the concern or refer you to another staff member. Similarly, if the member of staff directly involved feels unable to deal with a concern, we will refer you to another staff member. The member of staff may be more senior but does not have to be. The ability to consider the concern objectively and impartially is more important.
We understand however, that there are occasions when people would like to raise their concerns formally. In this case, our school will attempt to resolve the issue internally, through the stages outlined within our complaints procedure which can be accessed by clicking the link below.
Should you require a paper copy, please contact the school and this will be provided, free of charge.
How to complain:
Any concerns you have about your child’s education can normally be settled by speaking to the headteacher or other member of staff.
The headteacher will tell you how to make a formal complaint to the governing body. This is usually by completing a complaint form or writing a letter to the Chair of the governing body.
|You should make it clear:|
- Why you are complaining.
- Who you have spoken to already.
- What you want to happen as a result of your complaint.
The Chair of Governors will arrange for your complaint to be investigated.
Chair of Governors: Mrs Angela Williams
c/o St Finbar’s Catholic Primary School
South Hill Road
- The Chair of Governors will nominate a governor to investigate your complaint.
- The governor in charge of investigating may ask to meet you to clarify the nature and detail of your complaint.
- They will give you full details of how they will carry out any further investigation in keep you up to date with progress.
How long will it take to deal with a formal complaint?
The governing body aim to respond to your complaint within 21 school working days of receiving your written complaint. If there is any delay, they will let you know the reasons and keep you informed.
When the investigating officer has fully investigated your complaint you will be informed of the outcome and any agreed action to be taken.
If you wish to appeal, you need to do so within 7 days of receiving the written outcome. This can be done by contacting the Chair of Governors who will arrange the appeal panel.
Special educational needs (SEN)
Any complaints should first be raised with the SENCO, then if necessary with the Headteacher and, if unresolved, with the SEND Governors.
Managing parental complaints related to SEN (any of the following may apply):
- All SEN complaints must follow the school’s formal complaints procedure.
- The SEN governor is consulted.
- External advice may be sought.
- Key legislation regarding the matter is identified.
- Good levels of communication with the parents/carers are maintained throughout the process.
- Meetings with the parents/carers are arranged, perhaps involving a mediator such as parent support.
- Key issues are identified including where there is agreement.
- Discussions should take place with the SENCO.
- Reports provided by outside agencies should be considered.
Make an SEND complaint
Follow these steps in order. Move on to the next step if your complaint is not resolved.
- Talk to the school’s special educational needs co-ordinator, Mrs C Harkness (SENCO)
- Follow the school’s complaints procedure
- Complain to you local authority
Complain to the Education Funding Agency instead of the local authority if both the following apply:
- the school is an academy or free school
- your complaint is not about an SEN statement or an EHC plan
What can I do if I am not happy with the school’s and governing body’s responses?
You have the right to take your complaint to the Secretary of State for Education:
Secretary of State
Department of Education
Great Smith Street
Telephone: 0370 000 2288
Remember it’s for every school because 97% attendance for every child is the target set by government.