Gravenhurst Academy

Gothic Mede Academy Gothic Mede Academy BEST Trust
Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy Life at Gravenhurst Academy

Parental Complaints

 

Parental Complaints Policy (2014)

1. Rationale and Aim

BEST take all staff, student, parent/carer and public comments seriously and review procedures on a regular basis to ensure that the best educational setting is provided for students.

This policy aims to ensure that staff are aware of how to deal with a concern or complaint and that parents/carers are aware of the procedure for addressing an issue. This policy will be made available to all parents/carers via the academy websites.

This procedure has been adapted from the recommendations made by the UK government on www.education.gov.uk, complies with section 29 of the Education Act 2002 and is endorsed by the BEST Board of Directors. This policy will be reviewed two yearly or as required.

2. Procedure

If a parent/carer has a concern to raise they should follow the process below.

Stage 1

In the first instance, any concern should be raised with the class teacher. However, in the circumstances listed below, a formal letter should be immediately sent to the Principal:

• If the concern is about the actions of a member of staff

• If the concern places the health, well-being or safety of pupils at risk

Stage 2

If the class teacher is unable to resolve the concern, the parent/carer should contact a senior member of staff (see appendix for individual academy process/named contact).

Stage 3

If the issue remains unresolved, the parent/carer should submit a formal complaint, in writing on the complaints form (Appendix E), to the Principal. They will receive acknowledgement of their complaint within 2 school days.

If the Principal deems it necessary, they will discuss the complaint with their Leadership Team and a named person will be appointed to investigate the matter. The named person will:

• carry out the investigation in a timely manner to ensure fresh accounts

• only interview children when the nature of the complaint is sufficiently serious to warrant it and adult witnesses are not available

• maintain accurate notes of the investigation

All complaints will be treated confidentially and a response will be received by the parent/carer within 10 school days.

Concerns raised via Facebook pages will be deleted and the person concerned will be directed back to the academy process for raising concerns. The academies will only respond to concerns raised via the appropriate channels.

No form of physical or verbal abuse towards staff will be tolerated, and police will be notified, and the parent/carer runs the risk of being banned from the academy site.

1

Stage 4

If the complaint is unable to be resolved by the Principal, the next stage is to approach the Chair of Governors. This should be done so in writing (addressed to the Chair of Governors c/o the academy concerned). The Chair of Governors will respond within 15 school days.

Stage 5

If the complaint remains unresolved, the parent/carer should contact the Chair of Governors requesting that the complaint is referred to a Complaints Appeal Panel (see Appendix D for details of process).

Complaining to the Secretary of State

If the complainant feels that the Complaints Appeal Panel has acted unreasonably or illegally a complaint should be made in writing to the Secretary of State for Education.

Vexatious complaints

Governors and the Principal will not respond to repeated complaints over the same issue or be subject to repeated complaints of a vexatious nature. If this occurs, the Chair of Governors will inform the complainant in writing that the particular complaint has been dealt with in previous correspondence, that the procedure has been exhausted and that the matter is now closed at academy level. The Chair of Governors will also reiterate to the complainant that this does not preclude them from contacting the Secretary of State for Education.

3. Monitoring and Evaluation

Both informal and formal complaints are recorded by each academy (see individual academy appendix for further details). Trends are analysed and appropriate action taken by the senior staff within BEST. Complaints analysis/trends are submitted to the Local Governing Body once a term.

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the academies will keep any personal information relating to a complaint in a secure manner for a period of 6 years.

4. Implementation and Review

This policy will be made known to all staff, parents/carers and governors, and published on the academy websites. Copies are also available upon request from the academy office. This policy will be reviewed two yearly or as required.

5. Author and Date

L. Little, January 2014

6. Appendices

Appendix A – Samuel Whitbread Academy

Appendix B – Etonbury Academy & Robert Bloomfield Academy

Appendix C – Gravenhurst, Langford & Gothic Mede Lower Schools

Appendix D – Process for Complaints Appeal Panel

Appendix E – BEST complaints form

2

Appendix A – Samuel Whitbread Academy

Concern heard by class teacher

Class teacher will record informal concerns on concern/complaints form (Appendix E), retain copy and these will be reviewed regularly by the Head of Dept

Issue not resolved

Issue resolved

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Formal complaint to Chair of Governors

(response within 15 school days)

Concern heard by Head of Year

or if subject specific, Head of Department

Formal complaint to Principal (in writing by complaints form in Appendix E)

Acknowledged within 2 school days, response within 10 school days

Issue not resolved

Issue resolved

Complaints Appeal Panel to be formed

(see appendix D for detail)

3

Appendix B – Etonbury Academy & Robert Bloomfield Academy

Concern heard by class teacher

Class teacher will record informal concerns on concern/complaints form (appendix E), retain copy and these will be reviewed regularly by the Head of Dept

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Formal complaint to Chair of Governors

(response within 15 school days)

Concern heard by Head of Year

Formal complaint to Principal (in writing by complaints form in Appendix E)

Acknowledged within 2 school days, response within 10 school days

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Issue not resolved

Issue resolved

Complaints Appeal Panel to be formed

(see Appendix D for detail)

4

Appendix C – Gravenhurst, Langford and Gothic Mede Lower Schools

Concern heard by class teacher

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Formal complaint to Principal (in writing by complaints form in Appendix E)

Acknowledged within 2 school days, response within 10 school days

Issue not resolved

Issue resolved

Formal complaint to Chair of Governors

(response within 15 school days)

Issue resolved

Issue not resolved

Complaints Appeal Panel to be formed

(see Appendix D for detail)

5

Appendix D – Process for Complaints Appeal Panel

This is the last academy based stage of the complaints process. The Governing Body will nominate a number of members with delegated powers to hear the complaint at this stage. The remit of the panel is as follows:

Dismiss the complaint in whole or in part

Uphold the complaint in whole or in part  

Decide on the appropriate action to be taken to resolve the complaint

Recommend changes to BEST's procedures to ensure that problems of a similar nature do not recur

It is important that the appeal hearing is independent and impartial therefore no governor may sit on the panel if they have had prior involvement in the complaint or in the circumstances surrounding it and at least one panel member should be independent of the management/running of the academy.

The aim of the hearing, which remains private, will always be to resolve the complaint and achieve reconciliation between the academy and the complainant.

 Roles and responsibilities of panel

The role of the Clerk

 Once the complaint has been referred to a Complaints Appeal Panel, the Clerk to the Governors would act as the contact point for all parties. The Clerk would set the date, time and venue of the hearing, collate any written material and circulate this to all parties in advance of the hearing, record the proceedings and notify all parties of the panel’s decision.

 The role of the Chair of the Panel

 The Chair of the panel will ensure that:

 The remit of the panel is explained to all parties and each party has the opportunity to put their case forward without undue interruption

 The issues are addressed

 Key findings of fact are made

 Parents/carers and others who may not be used to speaking at such a hearing are put at ease (parents/carers may be accompanied at the hearing if they wish and should inform the Clerk of who will be present)

 The hearing is conducted in an informal manner with each party treating the other with respect and courtesy

The panel is open minded and acting independently

 No member of the panel has a vested interest in the outcome of the proceedings or any involvement in an earlier stage of the procedure

 Each side is given the opportunity to state their case and ask questions

 Written material is seen by all parties – if a new issue arises it would be useful to give all parties the opportunity to consider and comment on it

Checklist for a Panel Hearing

 The panel need to take the following points into account:

 •The hearing is as informal as possible.

 •Third party witnesses are only required to attend for the part of the hearing in which they give their evidence.

 •After introductions, the complainant is invited to explain their complaint, and be followed by their witnesses.

 •The Principal may question both the complainant and the witnesses after each has spoken.

 •The Principal is then invited to explain the school’s actions and be followed by the school’s witnesses.

6

The complainant may question both the Principal and the witnesses after each has spoken.

•The panel may ask questions at any point.

 •The complainant is then invited to sum up their complaint.

 •The Principal is then invited to sum up the school’s actions and response to the complaint.

 •Both parties leave together while the panel decides on the issues.

 •The Chair explains that both parties will hear from the panel within a set time scale.

 Notification of the panel’s decision

The Chair of the Panel needs to ensure that the complainant is notified of the panel’s decision, in writing, with the panel’s response within 5 school days of the hearing. This letter would explain if there are any further rights of appeal and, if so, to whom they need to be addressed.

 7  BEST Complaints Procedure

Appendix E – concern / complaint form

Please complete and return to ……………………… (individual academy contact – see appendix).

Please tick appropriate box:

Informal concern

Formal complaint (stage 1 and 2 of the Complaints Policy should have been followed before a formal complaint is lodged unless:

the concern is about the actions of a member of staff

•the concern places the health, well-being or safety of pupils at risk

Formal complaints should be submitted in writing by means of either letter or completion of this form. Please note that all formal complaints will be given directly to the Principal of the Academy.

Complainant’s name:

Pupil’s name:

Relationship to the pupil:

Address:

Postcode:

Day time telephone number:

Evening telephone number:

Please give details of concern / complaint.

What action, if any, has already been taken to try and resolve this matter (who has been spoken to and what were the response(s)?

What would complainant like to see happen now to resolve the complaint?

Please continue on reverse if necessary