COMPLAINTS POLICY – Statutory Policy 14:
This policy should be used for:
• Complaints relating to the schooling of a child
• Complaints about the education and care provided to pupils at the school
• Complaints about the school’s operational arrangements
This policy is limited to matters which can reasonably be investigated and therefore
complaints should relate to matters which have occurred within the last 12 months.
This policy should not be used for:
• Complaints by staff relating to grievances about their employment
• Complaints about the actions of a governor
• Complaints about the actions of another parent
• Allegations of abuse
• Issues between the school and community groups/PTA
These matters will be dealt with by:
• Complaints by staff relating to grievances about their employment (There is
a separate staff grievance procedure )
• Complaints about the actions of a governor (This should be reported to
Chair of the Governing Body in the first instance, and considered
with reference to the National Society Code of Conduct)
• Complaints about the actions of another parent (This should be reported to
the Headteacher who will investigate whether action can be taken by the
• Allegations of abuse (Any allegations of abuse should be discussed with
the Headteacher or a senior staff member in the first instance. For a
definition of abuse, refer to the school’s Child Protection/ Safeguarding policy(s).
• Issues between the school and community groups/PTA (These will be
resolved informally by discussion)
Status Section 29 of the Education Act 2002 states the need to have in place a procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school and to any community facilities or services the school provides. The law also requires the complaints procedure to be publicised.
The school’s values are concerned with meeting the needs of pupils, parents and
other stakeholders. The governing body believes that feedback is an important
ingredient in self-evaluation and raising standards. All stakeholders should feel that
their concerns or complaints can be voiced and will be considered seriously.
The school takes informal concerns seriously and aims to resolve them at the earliest stage in order to reduce the numbers that develop into formal complaints.
The underlying principle is that concerns will be handled, if at all possible, without the
need for formal procedures. The requirement to have a complaints procedure will not
in any way undermine efforts to resolve the concern informally. Staff will endeavour
to resolve issues on the spot.
Formal procedures will be invoked when initial attempts to resolve the issue are
unsuccessful and the person raising the concern remains dissatisfied and wishes to
take the matter further.
The policy shall apply to all employees and governors of the school. It is the shared
responsibility of the Headteacher and the Chair of the Governing Body to ensure
that these groups are made aware of the policy and procedure.
The Complaints Procedure will:
• encourage resolution of problems by informal means wherever possible;
be easily accessible and publicised;
• be simple to understand and use;
• be impartial;
• be non-adversarial;
• allow swift handling with established time-limits for action and keeping
people informed of the progress;
• ensure a full and fair investigation by an independent panel where
• respect people’s desire for confidentiality;
• address all the points at issue and provide an effective response and
appropriate redress, where necessary;
• provide information to the school’s senior management team so that
services can be improved.
Roles and responsibilities
This section of the policy is taken from the separate document: School
Complaints Procedure, which explains the process in more detail.
In brief the procedure is as follows:
Complaint/concern heard by staff member (informal);
• Complaint heard by headteacher (formal) or
• Complaint is heard by the Chair of Governing Body (if complaint is about the
Complaint heard by Governing Body’s Complaints Panel (review);
A dissatisfied complainant can always take a complaint to the next stage.
The Complaints Policy and Procedure are publicised to all stakeholders through:
• the school prospectus;
• the information given to new parents when their children join the school;
• the home-school agreement;
• home school bulletins or newsletters;
• a specific complaints leaflet which includes a form on which a complaint
can be made;
• posters displayed in areas of the school that will be used by the public,
such as reception or the main entrance;
• the school website.
If, at any stage of the process, the complainant starts legal action in relation to the
matters under considerations, the complaints process will automatically cease. The schools legal team will become aware and guide proceedings further.
Monitoring and evaluating the policy:
All documentation regarding complaints (including notes of any related meetings and
telephone calls), the action taken and the final outcome will be recorded and a
summary included in the Headteacher’s next report to the Chair of Governors.
The Governing Body will monitor the level and nature of complaints and review the
outcomes on a regular basis to ensure the effectiveness of the procedure and make
changes where necessary. Complaints information shared with the whole governing
body will not name individuals.
The monitoring and review of complaints by the school and the governing body is a
useful tool in evaluating the school’s performance, and will contribute to school
improvement. Any underlying issues identified will be addressed separately and kept in a secure location (student files) and will be retained for a period of 7 years.