Complaints Policy

Policy adopted by the Full Governing Body on 26th March 2012
Reviewed: Summer Term 2013, Summer Term 2014
Next review due: Summer Term 2016
St Mary’s CE (A) Primary School has adapted the Staffordshire County Council Complaints
Policy.
1. Introduction
We believe that our school provides a good education for all our children, and that the
Headteacher and other staff work very hard to build positive relationships with all parents.
However, the school is obliged to have procedures in place to give parents a means to raise
issues of concern and have them addressed. The following policy sets out the procedure that
the school follows in such cases.
2. Aims and objectives
Our School aims to:
• be fair, open and honest when dealing with any complaint.
• give careful consideration to all complaints and deal with them as swiftly as possible.
• resolve any complaint through dialogue and mutual understanding and, in all cases; we
put the interests of the child above all other issues.
• provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed, and then resolved.
• treat all Complainants respectfully during and after the course of any complaints
investigation.
• make all staff aware of the complaints procedure and ensure that they understand:
1. The importance of attempting to resolve problems before they become formal
complaints.
2. The importance of treating complaints respectfully.
3. Expressing Concerns
Stage 1 – Informal conversation with class teacher
If a parent/guardian has any concerns, they should, in the first instance, discuss the matter
with their child’s class teacher. Most matters of concern can be dealt with in this way. All
teachers work very hard to ensure that each child is happy at school, and is making good
progress; they always want to know if there is a problem, so that they can take action before
the problem seriously affects the child’s progress.
Stage 2 – Referral of concerns to the Headteacher
This stage should be progressed to if a parent/guardian feels that:
• a situation has not been resolved through contact with the class teacher; or
• that their concern is of a sufficiently serious nature that they should make an appointment
to discuss it with the Headteacher.
The Headteacher considers any such complaint very seriously and will investigate each case
thoroughly. The complaint will be formally recorded and will be acknowledged in writing
within 5 working days. Most complaints are normally resolved at this stage. At this stage the
Headteacher will consider whether the complaint can be resolved without recourse to the
Governing Body.

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Action through a complaints procedure may lead to action being initiated under other
procedures. This may be disciplinary or child protection procedures and consideration should
be given to this possibility at the earliest stage. In these cases the investigations under the
complaints procedure will be suspended until action under the other procedures (including
appeals) has been concluded. The complainant will be advised if this is the case and also
informed of the likely delay in the final resolution of their complaint.
Stage 3 – Referral of Complaint to the Chair of Governors/Complaints Committee
If after discussion with the Headteacher under stage 2, the matter is still not resolved or the
Headteacher feels it appropriate to refer to the Governing Body, the matter will be presented
to the Chair of Governors. The complainant will need to write to the Chair of Governors
outlining the complaint and the actions already taken by the school to resolve the matter.
Appendix 1 of this document may be used instead of a letter if the complainant so wishes.
The name of the current Chair of Governors is available on the school website or through the
school office. The Chair will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 2 working days. The
Chair of Governors will consider whether the investigation can be completed by the
Headteacher (who will already have been involved), the Chair him/herself, or whether to refer
the complaint to a Complaints Committee of the Governing Body. The panel will be made up
of between 3 and 5 members of the Governing Body. The panel will not include the
Headteacher and, according to the matter complained about, it may not be appropriate for
certain categories of Governor to be included.
The Committee will meet at a time convenient to the members of the Committee, the Chair
(who will present the report), the parent (in order that they may make representations in
person) and any witnesses.
Outcomes
In all cases where a complaint has been investigated the complainant will be given a written
response, within 48 hours of the hearing, covering:
• the complaint;
• the scope of the investigation;
• the conclusion of the investigation;
• any action which has resulted.
The Committee may wish to offer the complainant the opportunity to discuss the response.
If the investigation upholds the complaint, redress should be appropriate to the
complaint and may include:
• An appropriate expression of regret.
• Providing the solution desired by the complaint.
• Changing the procedures to avoid future problems.
The school will take responsibility for:
• Deciding who can take remedial action.
• Ensuring that the remedy is carried out.
• Ensuring that any remedy is within the school’s powers.
• Ensuring the approach to remedies is reasonable and consistent.
If the committee believes that the complaint may lead to disciplinary proceedings against a
teacher or involves child protection procedures the response will say that these procedures
have been invoked.
Where a complaint is not upheld the complainant will be given a written response and
informed of any further action that might be appropriate in their situation.

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If dissatisfied with the Committee’s decision the complainant can raise the matter with
the Secretary of State for Education. However, the Secretary of State for Education will
investigate further only if the school and the governing body have failed to adopt the correct
procedures or if new information has come to light.
4. Complaint about the Headteacher
Should a parent have a complaint about the Headteacher, s/he should contact the Chair of
Governors as in stage 3 above.
5. Concerns About a Member of Staff
Any concerns that you may have regarding a member of staff should, in the first instance, be
referred to the Headteacher. However, if for whatever reason you feel it inappropriate to
refer your concern to the Headteacher you may contact the Chair of Governors. This should
be done through the School Office. The Office Manager will contact the Chair of Governors
on your behalf and ask them to contact you directly. Details of your concern need not be
disclosed to the Office Manager and your request to contact the Chair of Governors will be
dealt with in confidence.
6. Monitoring and review
The Governors monitor the complaints procedure, in order to ensure that all complaints are
handled properly. The Headteacher logs all complaints received by the school and records
how they were resolved. Governors are informed of any complaints on a termly basis via the
Headteacher’s Report. Governors take into account any local or national decisions that affect
the complaints process, and make any modifications necessary to this policy. This policy is
made available to all parents, so that they can be properly informed about the complaints
process.

The School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.