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Our Complaints Procedure
Whilst we endeavour to run an efficient and happy school it is possible that complaints will arise from time to time. It is essential that we deal with these seriously and effectively, and that parents know what procedure to follow.
Details of how to make a complaint is included with all information to new parents, and staff must be familiar with the procedure. For convenience it is transcribed below:
A Happy School
Roselyon is a school which is proud of its relationships, both with pupils and with parents. However, we always welcome suggestions and comments from parents, and take seriously complaints and concerns that may arise. This information will show you how to use our complaints system.
A complaint will be treated as an expression of genuine dissatisfaction, which needs a response.
- Parents wishing to make a complaint must know how to do so. This guidance is contained within the parent handbooks issued to parents when their children join the school.
- We respond to complaints within a reasonable time and in a courteous and efficient way
- Parents realise that we listen and take complaints seriously
- We take action where appropriate
'How should I complain?'
We would encourage you to talk directly to a member of staff about anything which causes you concern. However, you may write a letter, or telephone. Be as clear as possible about what is troubling you.
Any member of staff will be happy to help. It may be best to start with the person most closely concerned with the issue ' for example, to raise class matters with the form teacher or sports concerns with whoever takes your child for games. They may be able to sort things out quickly with the minimum of fuss. However, you may prefer to take the matter straight to the head.
If you make a complaint in this way your will be contacted to discuss it within 1 working day.
'I don't want to complain as such, but there is something bothering me'
The school is here for you and your child, and we want to hear your views and your ideas. Please contact a member of staff as described above.
'I am not sure whether to complain or not'
If, as parents, you have concerns about anything, we would like to know about it. If in doubt, please contact the school, as we are here to help. We want Roselyon to be a happy place for us all ' anything which might mar this needs to be tackled.
'What will happen next?'
If you raise something face-to-face or by telephone, it may be possible to resolve the matter immediately and to your satisfaction.
If you have made a complaint or suggestion in writing, we will contact you within five working days, to respond to your concerns and explain how we propose to proceed.
In many circumstances, we will then be able to meet together and resolve the difficulty together. However, if the person you contact needs to discuss the matter with colleagues and consider it further before responding, you will be given a date by which time you will receive a response. This will be within 5 working days. If a detailed exploration of the issues is needed, a letter or report will be sent to you by a senior member of staff or by the head within 5 working days. This will tell you of the outcome of your complaint. It will explain the conclusion, the reasons for it, and any action taken or proposed. If you wish to respond to this response, you may do so under the provisions outlined below.
'What happens about confidentiality?'
Your complaint or concern will be treated in a confidential manner and with respect. Knowledge of it will be limited to the head and those directly involved, although the Chair of Governors may also need to be informed. It is the School's policy that complaints made by parents should not rebound adversely on their children.
We cannot entirely rule out the need to make third parties outside the school aware of the complaint and possibly also the identity of those involved. This would only happen in the highly unlikely event where, for example, a child's safety was at risk, or it became necessary to refer matters to the police. You would of course be fully informed. On occasions, school inspectors may need to have access to the written records dealing with complaints.
Whilst information relating to specific complaints will be kept confidentially on file, we would point out that anonymous complaints cannot be pursued.
Any action which needs to be taken under staff disciplinary procedures as a result of complaints will be handled confidentially within the school. All written records will be kept for three years.
'What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?'
We hope that you will feel satisfied with the outcome, or at least that your concerns have been fully and fairly considered.
If you are not satisfied, the Head will offer to refer the matter to a panel of at least 3 governors who were in no way involved in the complaint. Alternatively, you may wish to write directly to the Chair. At this stage your concern becomes a formal complaint. A panel of governors will call for a full report from the Head, and will examine matters thoroughly before responding. This may result in a positive solution, but if it does not, you will be invited to a meeting. This will be led by a governor who has not been involved in the issue so far and a panel made up of two other governors who have not previously considered the complaint and an independent member who will be separate from the running and management of the school. None of the governors will be parent governors. You may wish to be supported by a friend. A confidential written record will be kept of this meeting and copies will be distributed electronically and in paper form to all who were present and any complainant or person complained about who was not present at the meeting. A copy will also be available to the Head and will be available for inspection at the school to parties involved in the complaint.
This meeting time will be offered within 2 weeks of the formal complaint being received.
If the meeting does not bring about a resolution, the matter will be referred to the full Board of Governors. It is their task to look at the issues in an impartial and confidential manner. The Clerk to the Governors will then invite you to a specific meeting to discuss your concerns. You will be asked if there are any papers you would like to have circulated beforehand. As with the panel meeting, you will be invited to bring a friend with you and an independent witness will be present. A written record will be kept and a copy given to you.
This meeting will be offered within 2 weeks of the previous meeting.
We hope that we will be able to satisfy your concerns. If we do not, you may wish to seek independent legal advice. There are certain circumstances in which the Secretary of State has an interest, and you can contact him directly or through your lawyer or MP; he would then ask the Registrar of Independent Schools to investigate, usually through HM Inspectors of Schools.
Nursery parents may also contact:
Early Years OfSTED
Tel no: 08456 404040
Independent Schools Inspectorate
8' 12 Long Lane
Tel. no: 020 7600 0100
Fax no: 020 7776 88
The School trusts that you never have cause to use any of the procedures outlined here but recognises and acknowledges your entitlement to complain. We always aim to work with you in the best interests of the children and young people in our care.
Last reviewed Autumn 2013. Review: Autumn Term 2014
A flow chart of this procedure is available on request from the school office.