Welcome to our school

Complaints

 We hope that you are happy with the way the school works. However, if you have a complaint about curriculum or religious worship there is a formal complaints procedure which can be invoked. Details can be obtained from the school office and are detailed below. For these and all other complaints or concerns parents (and others) are encouraged to raise them initially with the Head teacher who will be able to discuss them either there and then or at a mutually agreed time.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can write to the Chair of Governors at the school and she will investigate the circumstances concerning your complaint.

 

Should you still not be satisfied and want to take the matter further you can make a formal complaint in writing. If you would like assistance in setting out your complaint the school will, if asked, help you to do this. The school then promises to deal with your complaint as follows:

  • Formally acknowledge your complaint in 5 working days.
  • Tell you the name and telephone number of the person looking into your complaint.
  • Respond to it within 20 school working days, or if it is not possible to give you a complete answer, to tell you what is being done to investigate and how long it is expected to take.
  • Tell you if it has to be dealt with under a special procedure.

A full statement of the school’s Complaints Policy can be seen at the office.

 

Please do not be tempted to discuss your situation on social network sites. Comments of a libellous nature will not be tolerated and legal advice will be sought.

 

Finally, we would like to say that the first concern of everyone at Ludlow Infant and Nursery School is that children should enjoy school because it is a place where they meet friends, do exciting things and have many opportunities to enjoy learning. Education is not a take over by teachers, it is a partnership between parents and teachers. Please take an interest in what your child is doing and if you can offer anything which might be a help, then please let the teachers know.

 

The Head teacher will be pleased to give further information to parents considering sending their children to the school and parents are most welcome to visit by appointment.

 

If your child is already in school, please remember that we want your child’s experience to be a happy one. Please do not hesitate to come and see us if you have any cause for concern about your child so that we can speedily start putting things right.

 

No booklet can give you a truly rounded picture of the school. The best way to achieve that is to visit school and see for yourself, to talk to staff, pupils and governors and the Head teacher. We welcome visits from families interested in joining our community. Please feel welcome - we want this school to be part of the community and we do welcome visitors.

 

 

LUDLOW INFANT SCHOOL

COMPLAINTS POLICY

 

 

What do we consider a formal complaint?

A conversation between a staff member and complainant will be considered an informal complaint.  For a complaint to be considered a formal complaint this must be made in writing to the school on the School Complaint Form (Appendix C) which can be obtained from the school office.

 

If at all possible, the school will always attempt to deal with a concern informally and resolve the issue before it reaches the stage of becoming a formal complaint.

 

Whether your complaint is formal or informal it is treated as confidential at all times with only the relevant staff being involved.  We do not consider the discussing of these matters on social networking sites to be appropriate and this may prejudice the outcome of any complaint.

 

The formal procedures will need to be invoked when initial attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful and the person raising the concern remains dissatisfied and wishes to take matters further.

 

How do I raise my concerns with the School?

  • Stage one:  In the first instance concerns should be raised with a staff member verbally, although if the complaint is regarding another member of staff please address this to the Deputy or Headteacher. 
  • Stage two:  If you are still dissatisfied with the school’s actions please raise this with the Headteacher. 
  • Stage three:  If you are still dissatisfied after talking to the Headteacher OR if your complaint concerns the Headteacher, please arrange to talk informally to the Chair of Governors.
  • Stage four:  If after this course of action you are still dissatisfied your must put your complaint in writing addressed to the Chair of Governors.  The Governors cannot hear a complaint unless this has been made in writing.

 

The School’s Complaints Co-ordinator is the Headteacher who will keep any necessary records.

 

Please see Appendix A for the full Complaints Procedure.

 

INVESTIGATING COMPLAINTS

 

We will –

 

  • Act to resolve your complaint as quickly and efficiently as possible within realistic time limits. If further investigations are necessary new time limits can be set.
  • Establish what has happened so far, and who has been involved.
  • Clarify the nature of the complaint and what remains unresolved.
  • Meet with the complainant or contact them for further information if necessary.
  • Clarify what the complainant feels would put things right.
  • Interview those involved in the matter and/or those complained of, allowing them to be accompanied if they wish.
  • Conduct the interview with an open mind and be prepared to persist in the questioning.
  • Keep notes of the interview.

 

RESOLVING COMPLAINTS

 

At each stage of the procedure the school will want to keep in mind ways in which a complaint can be resolved.  It might be sufficient to acknowledge that the complaint is valid in whole or in part.  In addition, it may be appropriate to offer one or more of the following –

 

  • An apology
  • An explanation
  • An admission that the situation could have been handled differently or better. This is not the same as an admission of negligence.
  • An assurance that the event complained of will be recur
  • An explanation of the steps that have been taken to ensure that it will not happen again

 

If after all procedures have been followed and the complainant remains dissatisfied and tries to reopen the same issue the Chair of the Governing Body is able to inform them in writing that the procedure has been exhausted and that the matter is now closed.

 

GOVERNING BODY REVIEW

 

For reasons of confidentiality if a complaint reaches the stage where it is heard by the Governing Body this will consist of three members of the Complaints Committee only and not the full Governing Body.

 

The full Governing Body will monitor the level and nature of complaints.  Complaints information shared with the whole Governing Body will not name individuals.

 

APPENDIX A

FULL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

Stage One:  Complaint heard by staff member

It is in everyone’s interest that complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage.  The experience of the first contact between the complainant and the school can be crucial in determining whether the complaint will escalate.  To that end, if staff are made aware of the procedures, they know what to do when they receive a complaint.

 

The school will respect the views of the complainant if they indicate that they would have difficulty discussing a complaint with a particular member of staff.  In these cases, the complaints co-ordinator can refer the complainant to another staff member.  Where the complaint concerns the Headteacher, the complaints co-ordinator can refer the complainant to the Chair of Governors.

 

Similarly, if the member of staff directly involved feels too compromised to deal with a complaint, the complaints co-ordinator can refer the complainant to another member of staff.  The member of staff may be more senior but does not have to be.  The ability to consider the complaint objectively and impartially is crucial.

 

Where the first approach is made to a governor, the next step would be to refer the complainant to the appropriate person and advise them about the procedure.  Governors will not act unilaterally on an individual complaint outside the formal procedures.

 

Stage Two:  Complaint heard by Headteacher

The complainant may be dissatisfied with the way the complaint was handled at Stage One and may refer this to the Headteacher to be reviewed and a decision made on the course of action to be taken.

 

Stage Three:  Complaint heard by the Chair of Governors

If the complainant is still dissatisfied by the Headteacher’s response or if the complaint concerns the Headteacher, a meeting should be arranged as soon as possible with the Chair of Governors.

 

Stage Four:  Complaint heard by Governing Body Complaints Committee

The complainant must write to the Chair of Governors giving details of the complaint.  The Chair or a nominated governor will convene the Complaints Committee.

 

The governors’ appeal hearing is the last school-based stage of the complaints procedure and is not convened to merely rubber-stamp previous decisions. 

 

Individual complaints will not be heard by the whole Governing Body at any stage as this could compromise the impartiality of any panel set up for a disciplinary hearing against a member of staff following a serious complaint.

 

The Complaints Committee can –

  • 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 the school’s systems or procedures to ensure that problems of a similar nature do not recur.

 

The Complaints Committee will be independent and impartial.  No Governor will be permitted to sit on the Committee if they have had a prior involvement in the complaint or in the circumstances surrounding it.

 

The aim of the Committee is to resolve the complaint and achieve reconciliation between the school and the complainant.

 

Should the complaint be heard by the Complaints Committee this meeting will be clerked and the clerk will become the first contact point for the complainant.

 

The Role of the Chair of the Complaints Committee

 

The Chair of the Committee will ensure that –

  • The remit of the Committee is explained to the parties and each party has the opportunity of putting their case without undue interruption.
  • The issues are addressed.
  • Key findings of fact are made.
  • Parents and others who may not be used to speaking at such a hearing are put at ease.
  • The hearing is conducted in an informal manner with each party treating the other with respect and courtesy.
  • The Committee is open-minded and acting independently.
  • No member of the Committee has a vested interest in the outcome of the proceeding or any involvement in an earlier stage of the complaint.
  • Each side is given the opportunity to stage their case and ask questions.
  • Written material is seen by all parties.

 

Notification of the Committee’s decision

 

The Chair of the committee needs to ensure that the complainant is notified of the Committee’s decision in writing with the Committee’s response.

 

APPENDIX B

CHECKLIST FOR A COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE HEARING

 

The Committee will take the following points into account –

 

  • The hearing is as informal as possible.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • The Committee may ask questions at any point.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

APPENDIX C

 

 

LUDLOW INFANT AND NURSERY SCHOOL COMPLAINT FORM ( a copy is available from the school office)

 

 

 

Please complete and return to Mrs Val Matthews (Complaints Co-ordinator) who will acknowledge receipt and explain what action will be taken.

 

 

Your Name:

 

Pupil’s name:

 

Your relationship to the pupil:

 

Address:

 

 

 

 

 

Postcode:

 

Day time telephone number:

 

Evening telephone number:

 

Please give details of your Complaint:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What action, if any, have you already taken to try and resolve your complaint.  (Who did you speak to and what was the response)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What actions do you feel might resolve the problem at this stage?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you attaching any paperwork?  If so, please give details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signature:

 

Date:

 

 

 

Official Use

 

Date Acknowledgement sent:

 

By Who:

 

 

 

Complaint referred to:

 

Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 Please click here for a copy of the complaints policy