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Complaints Policy and Procedure

 

Purpose

 The Academy's values are concerned with meeting the needs of students, parents and others who have a stake in the Academy. This includes staff, members of the local community and the LA. The governing body believes that constant feedback is an important ingredient in self-improvement and raising standards. People, whether they be students or adults, who have concerns or complaints should feel that they can be voiced and will be considered seriously.

 

Principles

 The attached Complaints procedure sets out to ensure that:

  • The Academy listens and acts on complaints.
  • All complaints are investigated thoroughly, fairly and promptly.
  • Wherever possible, the Academy will find a resolution.
  • Complainants will not suffer as a result of a complaint.

 This procedure is not intended to replace the normal discussions regarding problems and concerns which take place in the Academy on a day-to-day basis. It is only where the Complainant remains dissatisfied with the outcome of such discussions that further steps may need to be taken.

 

Relationship to other policies

 The procedure for formal complaints will be followed for all complaints, including: about the Curriculum, Sex Education, and Equality, Diversity and Cohesion/SEN. This procedure does not apply to complaints concerning Admissions, Exclusions and Child Protection that are covered by other procedures. Complaints by members of staff should be made through the Grievance and Disputes procedure unless it is about Performance Management when that procedure should be followed.

 

Responsibilities

 The Principal will ensure that the Complaints Policy and Procedure are implemented.

 

Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation

 A summary of all complaints that reach the formal stage and the action taken will be included in the Principal’s termly report to Governors, with advice on any implications for policies.

 

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Stage 1 - Informal

 

Most complaints are best dealt with informally.

Students and parents should first discuss the complaint with the staff member responsible. If the matter cannot be resolved, a meeting to discuss the matter should be sought with the staff member's line manager or an appropriate member of the Senior Team.

Anyone who does not have a child at the school should discuss the complaint with the Bursar in the first instance.

 

Stage 2 - Formal

 Where the complaint has not been resolved under the informal stage, the Complainant should submit a formal written notice of the complaint, on the form attached, to the Principal. The Principal will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 3 working days
  • Appoint a member of the Senior Team to investigate the complaint including a meeting with the Complainant
  • Provide a written assessment of the situation and action taken or proposed to be taken to the Complainant within 15 working days of the receipt of the complaint.

 If the complaint is against the Principal, the form should be submitted to the Chair of Governors. The Chair will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 3 working days, excluding absences from home.
  • Appoint a member of the Governing Body to investigate the complaint including a meeting with the Complainant
  • Provide a written assessment of the situation and action taken or proposed to be taken to the Complainant within 20 working days of the receipt of the complaint.
  • If the complaint has been resolved at this stage, the issue will be deemed closed.

 Stage 3 – Formal

 If the Complainant is not satisfied with the response they receive, they may ask for the matter to be reviewed by a panel of two Governors on the Governing Body who have not previously been involved in the complaint and one person independent of the management and running of the Academy (the process for selecting the independent person will comform to relevant guidelines). The panel will select its own chair. The panel will meet to consider the complaint and make a final decision about it. The Complainant may take a friend or other person to provide support at the meeting. The procedure of the Panel Hearing will be as follows:

  • A hearing will be arranged within 20 working days of the Complainant asking for a review. The Complainant will be given notice in writing, at least 10 working days in advance, of the time and place of the hearing and will be allowed to call witnesses, where appropriate, and produce documents relevant to the hearing. The witnesses will attend the hearing only to give their statements and answer questions.
  • All written documents to be used at the hearing by either the Complainant or the Principal must be issued to the other party and Governors' Panel at least 5 working days in advance of the meeting.
  • The Clerk to the Governing Body will take notes of the Hearing.
  • The Complainant will put the case in the presence of the Principal and may call witnesses.
  • The Principal will have the opportunity to ask questions of the Complainant on the evidence given and any witnesses whom the Complainant may call.
  • Governors may ask questions of the Complainant and witnesses.
  • The Principal will put his/her case in the presence of the Complainant and call such witnesses as the Principal wishes.
  • The Complainant will have the opportunity to ask questions of the Principal and his/her witnesses.
  • Governors may ask questions of the Principal and witnesses.
  • Witnesses may be recalled by the Governors for clarification of their evidence.
  • The Principal and the Complainant will have an opportunity to sum up their case if they so wish.
  • The Principal and the Complainant then withdraw, and any witnesses who still remain also withdraw.
  • Governors, with any officers advising on procedure and technical matters only, will deliberate in private, recalling the Principal and the Complainant to clear points of uncertainty on evidence already given. If recall is necessary both parties are to return, notwithstanding that only one may be concerned with the point giving rise to doubt.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the handling of the complaint, then they are entitled to contact the EFA via the school’s complaint form: Click to visit

 

WRITTEN NOTICE OF COMPLAINT

 

NAME:   …………………………………  

Address:   ………………………………………………………………………………………….

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 Please state the nature of the complaint and the steps taken to address it:

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How would you like to see your concern/problem resolved?

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Signed:   ……………………………………                               Date:   …………………………

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