Complaints

In line with the School’s Mission of providing ‘The Best Catholic education for all’, we take all concerns and complaints seriously.  This enables us to deliver and evaluate the school’s aims and objectives in the most successful way.

We acknowledge the vital partnerships that exist between school and home and between the school community and the local, national and international communities.  As such we endeavour to respond to and resolve any areas of concern between these partnerships.  We do so in a professional, fair and appropriate manner, in a clearly understood, transparent and efficient way.  We respect the confidentiality of those concerned so as to ensure trust and openness.  This policy enables the resolution of concerns so that the whole school community can benefit from a successful and improving school. 

Framework of Principles

Stage 1 - The Role of the School Complaint Co-ordinator

  • Support and advise any member of staff about whom a complaint is made
  • Assess if the complaint can be dealt with on an informal basis or needs to follow the school’s complaint procedure

Informal

  • Assess who is the best person to deal with the complaint
  • Refer the complaint to that person
  • Monitor conclusion

Formal

Refer the complaint through the following process:

  • Receive or prepare in written format the exact details of the complaint and acknowledge within 3 days.  Formal written complaints to be acknowledged by return of post.
  • Investigate the complaint using this policy procedure
  • Assess which member of staff is best placed to respond to the complaint and ensure that they do so using this policy procedure.
  • Coordinate the writing of details of the resolution or otherwise of the complaint
  • If resolved store written details centrally.  If unresolved, refer written details to the Headteacher.
  • The school would normally expect this process to be completed within 10 working days
  • Send a copy of complaint to The Clerk to the Governors

Stage Two:  Complaint heard by Headteacher

The Headteacher’s influence will already have shaped the way complaints are handled in the school.  At this point, the complainant may be dissatisfied with the way the complaint was handled at stage one as well as pursuing their initial complaint.  The head may delegate the task of collating the information to another staff member but not the decision on the action to be taken.

The Headteacher will act in accordance with the same principles and procedures as the Complaint co-ordinator, keeping written details and storing these centrally.  Written details of resolved complaints will be available to the clerk to the governors.  If unresolved, refer written details to the Clerk of Governors.

Send a copy of the complaints to the Clerk to the Governors.

Stage Three:   Complaint heard by Governing Body Complaints Appeal Panel

General

The Governing Body will monitor the level and nature of complaints and review the effectiveness of all procedures with a view to improving school processes and evaluating the school’s performance.  The Complaints procedures will be routinely publicised in the Prospectus, home school agreement, the governors’ Report to Parents, and, the school website.

Complaints Hearing

A complaint will be heard by the GB Appeal Panel, following a decision previously given by the Headteacher, which has failed to satisfy the complainant, and who wishes to pursue the issue.  The complainant is required to write to the Chairman of Governors within 14 days of the Headteacher of the Headteacher’s communication, detailing the reasons for dissatisfaction.

The Chairman of the Governing Body will:

  • Notify the clerk when a meeting is appropriate
  • Check that the correct procedures are followed
  • Ensure that the decision is notified in writing and whether or not there are further rights of appeal
  • Send a copy of the complaint to the Clerk to the Governors

The Clerk will

  • Convene a hearing with a panel, comprising of at least three people not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint, one of whom must be independent of the management and running of the school.
  • Set the date, time and venue of the hearing at the convenience of all parties
  • Provide all relevant documentation to all parties
  • Record the proceedings
  • Notify all parties of the decision

The panel will                                                                                                                                                   

  • Appoint its own Chairman
  • Draw up its procedures
  • Hear and make a decision on the substance of the appeal
  • Make recommendations on policy as a result of complaints

The panel can

  • Dismiss the complaint in whole or in part
  • Uphold the complaint in whole or in part
  • Decide on appropriate action, which may resolve the complaint
  • Recommend changes to the school procedures to ensure that any similar problem does not recur

The Chairman of the Panel will ensure that

  • The remit of the panel is explained to all (see below)
  • The issues are addressed
  • The hearing is conducted in an informal manner, putting the complainant at ease, and each treating the other with respect and courtesy by allowing submissions without undue interruption
  • The panel is open minded and independent
  • No panel member has a vested interest in the outcome of the proceedings

The appeal hearing will be conducted with independence, impartiality and sensitivity to the issues of race, religion and gender, and to the potential discomfort of a parent and/or a child.

Approved and adopted by The Full Governing Body December 2014
Reviewed by the Governors May 2016