Complaints Procedure

Parental Complaints Procedure

The Governing Body of Howard Primary School follow the Croydon Complaints procedure as laid out in their:

Responding to your concerns in relation to schools leaflet: A guide for parents, carers, pupils and members of the local community.

At Howard Primary School we take complaints very seriously and your views and comments are always welcomed. We believe that the best for every child can only be accomplished by a true partnership between home, school and the community. Therefore, you are encouraged to say what you think should go on within the school. Howard Primary aims for high standards but sometimes things can go wrong or expectations are not met and this is why we have a complaints procedure to hopefully help resolve things.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet which may be about an event that has happened, failed to happen or the way in which something was handled.
The vast majority of concerns can usually be resolved informally. It is in everyone’s best interests that complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. This can usually be achieved through discussion and good communication. However, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, a formal procedure (as outlined below) would then need to be followed when attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful.

Stage 1. Informal

Your expression of concern should be made to the school at the earliest opportunity. First talk to the teacher most closely concerned to clarify the facts and resolve through discussion. A request for discussion with the head teacher or a senior staff member may also be desirable before making a formal complaint.

Stage 2: Complaint

If you are not satisfied with the outcome at Stage 1 you may wish to make a formal complaint. This should be done in writing to the head teacher:

Miss Jackie De Saulles

Your complaint should be acknowledged within three school days. The investigation should be carried out and the outcome communicated to you within 20 school days. The written response should include a full explanation of the decision and the reasons for it (if additional time is required to formulate a response this will be explained to you). Where appropriate the response should include what action the school will take to resolve it. The head teacher may delegate the task of collating the information to another member of staff but not the decision on the action to be taken. Once a decision has been reached, the head teacher should ensure that you are clear about the action taken and what to do if you remain dissatisfied (see Stages 3 & 4 below).

When the head teacher receives your written complaint, she may decide to refer the matter immediately to a governing body complaints panel. If the complaint is about the head teacher, the matter should be referred to the Chair of governors of Howard Primary School: Mr Paul Smith.

Stage 3: Governing body

Complaints rarely reach this formal level but should you need to, you should make a formal complaint to the governing body complaints panel within 10 school days of the decision from the school. Your letter to the governing body needs to set out why you remain dissatisfied and what outcomes you are seeking. A governing body complaints panel will normally consist of three people, none of whom will have been previously involved in your complaint. They will let you know when your complaint is to be considered. If a meeting with you and others involved is considered appropriate, you should be given seven days notice. The complaints panel will make their decision in private and write to you with their findings and any recommendations within seven school days.

Stage 4: Final complaint stage

If all attempts to resolve the complaint have been unsuccessful, for most schools you may refer your complaint to the Secretary of State for Education at the Department for Education (DfE), Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT. For more information, please visit: www.education.gov.uk The Secretary of State is unlikely to investigate individual issues but can inspect the school’s policies and procedures and make sure these have been followed.

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